Political Cartoon Activity

The lesson I’ve created is meant to be somewhere in the middle or the end of a unit on the American Revolution, where the students, anywhere from 9th to 10th grade, have been practicing analyzing primary sources in detail for the first time.

In this lesson, the essential question I’d like our class to discuss is How do Artists Construct Political Cartoons to Convey a Message?

During this lesson, students will first learn deconstruct a political cartoons in pairs by looking at the political cartoon “The Political Cartoon for the Year 1775” and discussing the 3 following questions with their partner: What Message is this Political Cartoon Conveying? How is the cartoon conveying this message? What does this political cartoon mean to you? After spending time with their partner, there will be a class-wide discussion regarding the same questions, where everyone will share their analysis about the cartoon. Following this period, I will give students the opportunity to create their own political cartoon, where they will use the guiding questions from the first activity to help them create their own political cartoon on one of the following 3 events: The Boston Tea Party, The Boston Massacre, or the Battle of Lexington and Concord, where they will create their political cartoon either from the perspective of a loyalist or a patriot from the United States in 1775. They will present their cartoon if time permits.

In terms of specifics, the first 7 minutes will be allotted to the intro activity of deconstructing a political cartoon. Discussing the directions for the “Create your own Political Cartoon” activity will take the next 3 minutes, where the directions will also be posted on the projector for students to refer to throughout the process of the creation of their political cartoon. The next 10-12 minutes will be time for students to work individually on their political cartoons, and the remaining time will be available for students to present their political cartoon to the class.


00:00-07:00 – Focus Activity

07:00-10:00 – Directions for “Create your own Political Cartoon” Activity

10:00-20:00/22:00 – Work-time for “Create your Own Political Cartoon” Activity

20:00/22:00-25:00 – Presentations


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