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Pre-historic Mammal Cards

School: Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences

City/State: Santa Fe, NM

Grade(s): 2

Format(s): Trading card

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Visual Arts

Project Overview

2nd graders from the Santa Fe School for the Arts and Sciences, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, created these trading cards as part of a learning expedition on prehistoric times and early man. Students studied the life of prehistoric people by creating and using primitive tools to make primitive shelters. Students worked with local experts as a means for learning about prehistoric times, and did fieldwork in actual archeological sites. A core target for this study was for students to genuinely understand the lifestyle and technology differences between today’s world and the world at that time. 

As one aspect of their Learning Expedition, each student created a trading card by conducting in-depth research about a specific prehistoric mammal. On one side of the card is a color drawing; the other side has a brief set of facts about that animal. Students then used these cards as a way to share information with each other about what they had learned.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Format is very appealing to 2nd graders – it provides both a means for displaying knowledge and the materials for an activity
  • Topic is compelling to young children
  • Highlights an engaging way to combine young children’s art work and writing
  • Students took care with the accuracy of the information written on the back of the cards
  • Some cards show detailed and careful drawings. See drawing of Leptictidium
  • Shows student hand-done writing; the penmanship of some of these 2nd graders is well formed and careful

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can include an ending to my informational text.
  • I can answer questions about things I’ve done or learned about.
  • I can use grammar conventions to send a clear message to a reader or listener.
  • I can compare formal and informal language.
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