This is a quick assignment I am doing with all of my classes at the beginning of the year. I use blank playing cards, but it could be cool to re-purpose some actual playing cards, or you could just use some cut up cardstock as well. Simply, each student gets a blank card on which they need to include their name and a visual of their choice. On the opposite side of their name and picture, I have them draw something to indicate their class. At my school, each class is given an element name, so I have students write the abbreviation for their class in big bold letters.
I show some students some different ideas for how they could design their card. We analyze and talk about some of the design elements that can be seen on traditional playing cards, Magic the Gathering cards, baseball cards, Pokemon cards, and even business cards. I encourage students to design their cards in a way that they feel represents their personality and style.
I use these cards throughout the whole year. I keep the set from each class as a separate deck. I can shuffle the deck and deal the cards to randomly assign seats, call on students for questions, break the class into groups, and more. I also throw in a card for myself into each deck and the kids get a kick out of me calling on myself for some questions.