30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Stand Up For Your Rights

Each year towards the end of January and the start of February, I teach a unit on the Civil Rights Movement and one of the key objectives is to show my students how far our country has come in regards to equality among Americans.  We discuss everything from the Brown v. Board of Education to the Rodney King trial that led to the LA riots.

I love this unit, because a lot of my students have no idea what African-Americans and other minority groups went through, because they've grown up in a pretty diverse part of the country.  One look around the classroom reveals a student population containing anywhere from five to ten ethnicities.

We discuss the sacrifices made by millions of people who have stood up for their constitutional rights and equality among all United States citizens.  And we talk about how there's still work to be done and that it's up to them to be role models for future generations, so it's important for the to respect each others' cultures and beliefs.

One of the students' assignments is to research two civil rights leaders and create trading cards for them.  They started their research on Tuesday and began working on their cards today, so I don't have any examples from this year's group yet.

However, I do have some from my last year's students that I wanted to show off:

Rosa Parks (2009 Upper Deck)

Abraham Lincoln (2004 Upper Deck Power Up!)

Fred Korematsu (2006 Topps)

Mahatma Gandhi (2006 Fleer)

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (2015/16 Panini Excalibur)

14th Dalai Lama (1991 Topps)

Pretty awesome, right?  I know that not all of these people are American civil rights leaders.  I told my students that they can choose anyone who has stood up for equality.

After the kids create their trading cards, they do a gallery walk where they check out their classmates' cards.  During this time, they take notes on other humanitarians and civil rights leaders, while having the opportunity to share what they learned with each other.

And who knows... maybe it'll get one or two kids interested in collecting cards.

By the way... this past Tuesday was Bob Marley's birthday, so I thought I'd share some sketch cards I picked up last year off of eBay:

2010 Breygent Woodstock Generation Sketch Card
by Chris Henderson

2010 Breygent Woodstock Generation Sketch Card
by Scott Simmons

2010 Breygent Woodstock Generation Sketch Card
by Joe Pekar

I was able to purchase all three of these cards for $26.16 shipped, which seemed like a pretty good deal for one of a kind sketch cards.

I'll go ahead and leave you with a little Marley and the song that inspired the title of this post...

I hope all of you are enjoying your week.  Happy Thursday and sayonara! 


  1. #bestteacherever #collect #don'tgivetoppsnowanyideas

  2. Those cards your students made are tremendous. Kudos to you Fuji for coming up with a very creative way to teach your students about historical figures. And you're right, maybe it will get one or two of them into card collecting in the future.

  3. "...to show my students how far our country has come in regards to equality among Americans"

    What - like 3 inches, maybe 4? It's really pathetic the way some creeds and nationalities are treated here. Have we done a lot - Sure. But at the speed change happens around here, it's really sad. Melting pot my ass. Your only guarantee is if your color is marshmallow.

    And yes, I speak of that being one of the privileged here.

  4. Great stuff and what a creative way to teach an important lesson.

  5. Well said my friend well said-love the art project very effective and thoughtful

  6. That's an awesome assignment. Some creative kids too!

  7. Fantastic! As a former teacher myself, I love what you're doing.

  8. Some talented kids for sure! I was really impressed with the Gandhi card.

  9. Very excellent project! Things like this are why I originally became a teacher. I always had ideas of incorporating my hobby into lessons and going off the grid with conveying material. I remember doing a WWI lesson where we created trenches out of the desks and the kids had to spend the entire time in a 40x3 foot "trench".

    Unfortunately lack of school administration support, the bureaucracy of school funding, and a host of other things turned my path elsewhere after a short period of time. But you are doing it and it's turning out amazing! Great job!

  10. Cool idea, talented kids, and looking forward to seeing what this years class comes up with.

  11. Thanks for sharing...nice assignment!

  12. Yeah, it sounds like your classes are really fun!!

  13. The Rosa Parks & M.K. Gandhi cards are righteous cardboard renditions of the Righteous leaders they depict. You are a credit to teachers everywhere; and while injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, we must first put our house in order before we can help others in good faith.

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  15. We have to keep these conversations with our youth going. Watching revisionism of WWII history occurring before my eyes is frightening! This is a great project Fuji! Kudos to you! And if a collector happens along the way, that's simply fun!

  16. Thanks for the kind comments! It's pretty amazing what the students learn from each others' cards.

    Dennis - #thanksbuddy

    Adam Sanders - I gotta admit, these were the cream of the crop. I did an example card for MLK and it didn't turn out nearly as good as these ones.

    JediJeff - We've taken a few steps backwards the last year or so, but overall we've come a long way since the days of segregation. I agree though... it's been really sad to see some peoples' true colors recently. Hopefully that'll only bring the rest of us closer together.

    Brett Alan - I get some of my best ideas from other teachers.

    Matthew - That's one of my friend's favorites too.

    t parish - I'm lucky to have a very supportive principal and AP's. Our superintendent and the board? That's a different story.

    John Miller - Me too. I did a progress check today and was pretty impressed.

    Steve at 1975BaseballCards.com - Lol. Thanks.

    xavier higgins - thank you for the great comment. agree 100%

    Julie - I told my students the same thing. It's important to learn from the mistakes in the past.