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Learning Exercise

Material: It's No Laughing Matter: Analyzing Political Cartoons
Submitted by: Christina Greening on Jun 09, 2008
Date Last Modified: Jun 09, 2008
Title: Political Cartoon or Propaganda?
Description: Students will analyze political cartoons to discuss propaganda messages.
Type of Task: Group, Individual, Student-centered, Supplemental Activity
Time Required 45 minutes for Middle level learners
Topics: Political cartoons propaganda bias World War II Dr. Seuss
Course: Middle school social studies
Audience: High School, Middle School
Prerequisites Skills: Students can locate interesting political cartoons through a search engine or teacher can have materials pre-printed and ready to go.
Learning Objectives: Students will be able to deconstruct and analyze political cartoons for the messages and concepts that they express.
Text of Learning Exercise: As a supplemental learning activity to this learning object, student can work in small groups or individually to select a political cartoon from the time period in which they are studying to analyze and assess what form of propaganda it encouraged. For example, students studying World War II can select from Dr. Seuss' many WWII era political cartoons. After selecting one, they can write a short response to the following questions: 1. What event is this political cartoon depicting or concerned with? 2. How would you feel if you saw this political cartoon in the newspaper on the date it was published? 3. Whom is this political cartoon criticizing or spreading propaganda about? Please explain your answer fully! This is a great activity to start conversation amongst students while looking at many history rich primary sources.
Assessment: Students can present their findings to the class or write a brief essay response to the questions.
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