Monday, January 26, 2009

Analyzing Political Cartoons

Omigosh! When I find something great like this it makes me wish I was teaching social studies right this second! It's No Laughing Matter - Analyzing Political Cartoons is a great learning activity developed by the Library of Congress for teaching current events and the nuances of political satire.

In order to understand political cartoons students need to know the elements that are part of a good political cartoon; symbolism, exaggeration, labeling, analogy, and irony. This fantastic interactive helps you guide your students through these understandings, and then prompts the real questions for analysis:
  • What issue is this political cartoon about?
  • What is the cartoonist’s opinion on this issue?
  • What other opinion can you imagine another person having on this issue?
  • Did you find this cartoon persuasive? Why or why not?
  • What other techniques could the cartoonist have used to make this cartoon more persuasive?
This guide has a real potential to open the door for you to introduce this type of reading and analysis often in your classroom for studying history, current events, and writing styles.

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