Sports trading cards have been a main attraction. I remember boys collecting cards when I was a kid. I don't think I paid much attention though. As an adult I'm still not collecting but am more aware.
The Library of Congress (think primary sources) have a great collection of the old sports trading cards. You can download copies of them at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/search/?q=baseball%20cards%201900-1920&sg=true.
For many years our district created trading cards of high school students - these students were chosen because of their accomplishments in academics, sports, music, etc. The cards were given to the elementary schools to be used as rewards for goals chosen by the schools. The kids on the trading cards came around and talked to the younger kids. The kids who collected the most at the end of the time period got to have lunch with the trading card kids.
Recently I learned that many of the National Parks have created a set of trading cards (these can be downloaded) or collected in person. The theme is Civil War to Civil Rights. You can find out more at this site http://www.nps.gov/fopu/learn/kidsyouth/trading-cards.htm . You can download them from flickr here https://www.flickr.com/photos/tradingcardsnpsyahoocom/collections/72157629789961004/
Here are some unusual ways cards have been used:
- Ancestor Cards - http://catchthewindow.blogspot.com/2011/09/ancestor-cards-how-i-did-it.html .
- Ginger created explorer cards for her students http://gingersnapstreatsforteachers.blogspot.com/2012/11/explorers-trading-cards.html .
- You can find Galaxy Cards here http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/cgi-bin/search .
- Solar System Trading Cards http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/resources/explorations/trading/directions.html
- The Museum of Natural History has created digital cards (this is one of my favorite sites) http://www.amnh.org/explore/ology .
- Ways to use in classroom http://www.pafa.net/2008/08/testing/
Ways to create your own cards:
- Explains how to use the Read Write Think link - http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2012/11/create-trading-cards-for-historical-and.html#.VRXuUzvF_31
- Direct Link to Read Write Think Trading Card Creator http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/trading_cards_2/
- Big Huge Lab http://bighugelabs.com/
- Free Trading Card Manual - Need to register at teachers pay teachers before you can download https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Trading-Card-Manual-1670833
- A tutorial http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/490643/making-cards-youll-never-use-your-old-method-again
- Templates http://www.brighthub.com/multimedia/publishing/articles/122296.aspx
- Card Design Template http://www.lybrary.com/card_designer/
- Blank Card Games http://www.donnayoung.org/homeschooling/games/game-cards.htm
Bingo Card Maker - http://edubakery.com/Bingo-Cards/Make-a-Bingo-Cards-Game