It has shown me that there are a lot of learning opportunities in these cards, and in trading them. There is plenty literacy. They need to read the text on the cards, and deciphering the made-up names is great fun and an excellent phonics activity - for example, Spearow, Starly, Pumpkaboo. For Numeracy, the kids have to add and subtract to work out the values of cards, which is greater, and how much "damage" is left on a card in a battle!
The greatest value however is probably the development of children's social skills, the ability to communicate and negotiate. We have set out some expectations for Pokemon card trading, under our school's expectations of Be a Learner, Be Safe, Be Respectful and Be Caring, to ensure the trades are all done fairly, honestly and agreeably.
Unfortunately we have had a few isolated incidents of Pokemon cards being stolen from bags or trays, and have had to restrict the card trading to Thursdays only, at the club. But I would not want to see this activity banned altogether, due to the educational value, fun and social benefits it offers. After all, if the kids could not trade at school, where else would they have access to so many others with cards to trade?
In the meantime, I will try to learn more about the cards and how to trade and battle, so I am not such an easy beat!