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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Create Comic Adventures on Comic Master

Comic Master is a free tool designed for students to use to create comics in the "graphic novel style" that is popular with a lot of kids in the ten to fourteen years old age range. Comic Master provides a drag and drop interface for students to build their comics on. Students using Comic Master can select from a variety of layouts, backgrounds, characters, effects, and fonts. Students can create free accounts on Comic Master to save their works and edit them whenever they like. Comic Master gives students the option to create and print multiple page stories.

Applications for Education
Comic Master could be a good tool for getting reluctant writers writing. The organization that sponsors Comic Master offers teachers a set of lesson plans built upon the use of Comic Master in the classroom. The lesson plans are designed for students between eleven and fourteen years of age.

Running for Office - Lessons With Cartoons and Videos

My social studies background is shining through this morning as I am publishing the third post of the day about the Presidential election process. The next few posts will not be about social studies topics, I promise.

In going through my archives I just rediscovered a couple of nice resources for teaching about politics through the use political cartoons, videos, and primary resources.

Running for Office is an online exhibit of the political cartoons of Clifford Berryman. Berryman is probably best known for his cartoon featuring Theodore Roosevelt having compassion for a bear cub. That cartoon inspired the creation of the Teddy Bear. Berryman drew political cartoons for Washington newspapers for more than fifty years.

The National Archives has put together a fifty-two page online exhibit of Berryman's cartoons. The cartoons chronicle the process of choosing the President. The exhibit also includes cartoons about running for Congress. Running for Office does a good job of explaining the meaning and historical context of the cartoons. Almost all of the cartoons in the exhibit can be downloaded for free.



















The Living Room Candidate is a great resource for teaching lessons about the role of media and advertising in political campaigns. The Living Room Candidate has a good resource page for teachers which provides a series of eight sequential lesson plans. The Living Room Candidate could also be a good resource for anyone that teaches a media studies course as your students can easily watch the evolution of television advertising through the 20th Century. The Living Room Candidate has videos of almost every Presidential campaign commercial from 1952 through 2008. A video of one of Kennedy's campaign commercials from 1960 is embedded below.


Cartoons for the Classroom is a service of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. Cartoons in the Classroom offers more than one hundred lesson plans based on editorial cartoons created by the members of the AAEC. Each lesson plan is available as free pdf download. As you might expect, most of the lessons deal with current political and economic topics, but you will also find some lessons that are not time sensitive.

In addition to lesson plans Cartoons for the Classroom provides links to other cartoon resources. One of those resources is the Opper Project. The Opper Project provides lesson plans for teaching history through editorial cartoons.

2012 Election Lesson Plans from C-SPAN Classroom

Earlier this morning I shared some videos about caucus and primary system used for determining the Presidential nominees from the Republican and Democratic parties. Through an email from C-SPAN Classroom I just found out about some lesson plans for teaching about caucuses, primaries, and the 2012 election season in general.

Primaries and Caucuses is a detailed lesson plan offered by C-SPAN Classroom. The lesson plan outlines a set of vocabulary terms, a case study, and links to video clips that illustrate and explain the ideas behind the caucus and primary systems.

Road to the White House is a lesson plan less focused on the minutia of the caucus and primary systems than it is on the overall presidential election process. Like the Primaries and Caucuses lesson plan, Road to the White House includes a vocabulary list and uses video clips.

Presidential Candidate Research is a lesson plan that provides students with a framework for evaluating the candidates. Although this lesson plan was developed for the 2012 Presidential election, it could certainly be altered for use during other election seasons.

CNN Student News is Back for 2012 - Caucuses and Primaries

CNN Student News is back for 2012 and this morning's episode is about the Iowa caucuses and North Korea. The bulk of the episode is about the caucuses, why they are important, and why the primaries later in the month are important too. The video is embedded below.


I did a quick search on YouTube for some other explanations of caucuses and came up with this video from CBS News.


Here is an explanation of the caucus process according to Sky News.


CNN also has this video explaining why Iowa and New Hampshire go first and matter.

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