Showing posts with label Political Satire. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Political Satire. Show all posts

Thursday, December 26, 2013

More Than 500 Political Cartoons and 100+ Political Cartoon Lesson Plans

For the next few days I'm taking some time off to relax, play with my dogs, and ski with friends. Rather than leave the blog dormant for a few days, I'm re-running some of the most popular posts of the year. 

The Library of Congress hosts an online collection of more than 500 political cartoons and caricatures from U.S. History. You can search the collection by keyword and image type. Along with the images you will find links to related resources from the Library of Congress. You could use these public domain works to help students understand the political perspectives surrounding significant political events in U.S. History. A good model for political cartoon-based lesson plans can be found on Cartoons for the Classroom.

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.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ad-O-Matic - Create Your Own Campaign Ad

The National Constitution Center currently offers a neat little tool called Adomatic for creating personal campaign ads. To create your campaign commercial enter your name, upload or take a picture of yourself, select a political party, select three campaign issues important to you, then let the tool render a video for you.

The Adomatic party options are Republican, Democrat, and Great New Party. When you create your video if you choose Republican or Democrat your video will be generally representative of the party's platform. The Great New Party renders a spoof video. I've embedded my sample video below (I uploaded a picture of my dog's face instead of my own).


Applications for Education
After your students create their videos ask them to think about what aspects of the two parties are represented in the commercials.

H/T to Tina Coffey

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Interpreting Political Cartoons - Guest Post

The inspiration for this lesson came from an article by John Bickford discussing how political cartoons can and should be used in the classroom. The article is copyrighted but I have recieved permission from Social Studies Research and Practice to share the article with freetech4teachers. If you would like to view more articles from their online peer reviewed journal click here.

In an effort to encourage class discussion I had my students watch pre-selected video clips of the GOP debates. This assignment can be done just as well by using primary source documents.

Then they create their own political cartoons on Toondoo (others will work but I like toondoo the best). Using a computer program or website works better than allowing the students to free hand the assignment. The point of the assignment is to draw meaning and historical significance from the videos or documents not draw lines an characters.

Depending on your students ability this assignment will take a week or even two to complete.  The cartoons should be well thought out and well presented. Then when the students are finished they will present.

In every piece of art two messages exist. An intended message and a conveyed or received message. This idea is at work in this lesson. 


The students who created cartoons will present the cartoons to the class but will not be able to share their intended message until prompted by the teacher.

Meanwhile the remainder of the class is discussing the conveyed message. It becomes particularly interesting to see how the two perspectives make up the whole message.

Student engagement is always essential to an effective lesson. I have rarely achieved the same level of student engagement in class discussion. I believe it has something to do with the fact that they created the content in which we are discussing.



My big points that I attempt to get across to my class throughout this process are as follows:
  • Why a political cartoon is different from a comic strip
  • How to find the message of a cartoon (imagery, symbolism, sarcasm etc.)
  • Perspective
Perspective is the big one. I want my students to try to figure out the creators perspective and what they are trying to accomplish by the cartoon. If they can successfully learn this it will help them understand professional cartoonist.

If you are feeling like a super overachiever you may see if you can contact a political cartoonist from a local newspaper to come in as a follow up activity a week or two after the lesson.


About the Guest Blogger
My name is Marcus Byrd and I write at TeacherAde. I have only been blogging for about 4 months but have really enjoyed the experience of learning from and connecting to other educators. I am studying at the University of West Georgia while I work in the Paulding County School District. I am always interested in building a larger network of teachers and collaborators.

My teaching career began as a paraprofessional or teachers aid. After two years of working alongside the teacher I realized how much that teachers are responsible for. My attitude from early on became that I like to help teachers teach. So I began the blog to do that on a larger scale and have been thrilled about where it has taken me in 4 months. I am even more excited about where it will take me in the future. If you know something that will help teachers teach then by all means share it!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Videos - How Candidates Raise and Spend Money

The amount of money that Presidential candidates spend on their campaigns is just mind boggling to me. Chances are good that it's mind boggling to your students too. CNN's Explain It To Me series has a couple of videos explaining how candidates raise money and what they spend that money on.

Here is How Candidates Raise Money.

Here is Campaign Spending. One of the statistics in this video that might help your students understand how much money is spent on campaigns is that Kobe Bryant would have to play for 29 years to earn as much money as President Obama spent in 2008.


On a much lighter note, and use your discretion before using this in your classroom, the Colbert Super Pac Coordination Resolution With Jon Stewart actually does include some good explanation of a couple of finer points about political super pacs.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Daryl Cagle's Pro Cartoonist Index and Lesson Plans

Daryl Cagle's political cartoons are frequently featured on MSNBC. In December I posted a link to a MSNBC year-in-review slideshow that included Cagle's political cartoons. Today, I learned that Daryl Cagle has section of his Political Cartoonist Index dedicated to lesson plans for elementary school, middle school, and high school teachers. The lesson plans include activities for learning to decode the meaning in political cartoons and political cartoon games. Right now the there are not a lot of lesson plans on the site, but those that are present are quite good and provide numerous links to additional resources.

Applications for Education
Daryl Cagle's lesson plans page is a good place to find materials for introducing your students to political caroons.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Activities for Understanding Political Cartoons

Political cartoons are a great way for students to learn about current news events as well as the nuances of political satire. However, if students don't understand various elements that create a good political cartoon the lesson loses its meaning. It's No Laughing Matter is a learning activity developed by the Library of Congress designed to help students understand and analyze the elements of a political cartoon. It's No Laughing Matter provides students with an interactive guide to understanding, practice activities, a short glossary of terms, and brief histories of the featured cartoons. It's No Laughing Matter also offers a compilation of resources for teachers.

Applications for Education
It's No Laughing Matter could be a great resource for introducing political cartoons to a Social Studies class. The students can use the practice activities individually before moving on to exploring other political cartoons that you provide to them. If you're looking for more political cartoons to use in your classroom take a look at Cartoons for the Classroom.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Be Funky- Create Comic Strips From Photographs

Be Funky is a simple tool for turning digital photographs into digital comics. The image you see to the left is a cartoonized image of me based on a photograph I took with my webcam. Be Funky can be used for simple one frame images or be used to create an entire strip of cartoonized images with inserted text. Be Funky calls their comic strip program the Sunday Funnies. Embedded below is a short video demonstrating the Sunday Funnies program.


Sunday Funnies by BeFunky Cartoonizer from BeFunky on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Be Funky is a simple and fun way to create comic strips to tell a story. Political satire and political comics are a part of almost every current events curriculum. With Be Funky students could use real images to create their own political cartoons. Be Funky is also advertising a service, to be available this summer, that will allow users to convert videos into cartoon videos.