als. All students were given a 6 x 9"
( 15 x 23 cm) envelope in which to
keep their handouts and miniatures.
Each class had its own basket of student envelopes.
The Trading Cards
Most students embraced the project
and always looked forward to creating
their cards. Some opted to produce
several pieces with a theme, while
others made a collection that was
diverse in subject matter and mate-
their collection. The cards that were
available for trade were to be neatly
spread out in front of their area. The
class was asked to stand and very
slowly walk around the table to view
what was available for trade. Trading
was not allowed until all available
work was viewed. Once students
reached their starting point, the trading began. I had three sessions and
each progressed in a similar fashion.
Another concern I had was that
some students might experience put-
Artist trading cards present
some added benefits to the
teacher. On those days that
a substitute must cover your
class, assigning an artist trad-
ing card can be the perfect
answer. Do you have a student
who finishes a project before
the rest of the class? Assign an
artist trading card!
Ca r d S Kathleen A. McArdle
Right: Accordion-fold pocket books, used for storing artist trading cards.
rial. Students created miniature paper
weavings, paintings, drawings, computer art cards, and small works in
relief. Many enjoyed designing both
the front and back of a card.
The Trading Session
As the end of the year approached, the
anticipation for our trading session
began to grow. The plans developed to
incorporate our session with our end-of-the year party. Would students take
the trading session seriously or would
the period dissolve into party time? I
knew I had to structure the session in
some way. Work tables were pushed
together to create one large island.
Students were asked to put their
favorites in an accordion-fold pocket
book that they had made to store
downs or a lack of trading activity.
I prepped students by asking them
to remain respectful of everyone’s
creative expression. I also encouraged
them to trade by explaining to them
that they were actually building their
first, authentic collection of original
art, and that they were also collecting
meaningful mementos of their classmates.
I was so pleased with this project
that I plan to keep it as part of my curriculum for next year. Not only was
the freedom of choice in these small
works important, but the difficult
social skills involved with making a
trade while displaying proper etiquette
and empathy was handled extremely
well by these young adults.
Kathleen A. McArdle is a visual arts teacher
at Glen Rock Middle School in Glen Rock,
New Jersey. firstname.lastname@example.org
Students use the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques,
and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.