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


Symbolism in the Lion King

This lesson is one in a continued unit that focuses on the finding and use of literary devices in both texts and other forms of media such as videos, music, and etc. This is meant for an 8th grade humanities classroom. The students will have just finished watching the Lion King in class.

In this lesson, we will be studying and examining the meaning of symbolism and how it shows up and is found in text and different forms of media. In particular, we will be working with the animated film version of Lion King. When the students watched the film, they will have been observing and accumulated an awareness of different objects, events, or ideas that may have a deeper meaning/symbolism. Students will be introduced to a short clip expanding on what symbolism is. The students will then take this understanding and context from the film to point out an example of symbol from the film.

To start off the lesson, the students will be introduced out loud to a definition of symbolism. Their will be a time for any starting questions or such about symbolism. Next, the teacher will play a short video clip that expands on what symbolism is. After the video, the teacher will ask once again if student’s have any clarifying questions or concerns. From this point, the teacher will ask the students to get out their laptops and open up to create a new google slides/PowerPoint/Keynote. The students will then choose an object, idea, activity, or event from the film that they believe is a symbol and find pictures of the object, idea, activity, or event and put a picture on the slide. For the slide/picture, the student will write three sentences that describe how that idea, activity, or event is represented in the story. Once these initial 3 sentences are written, the student will go back and insert a word in which they believe summarizes the symbol of that object, idea, activity, or even. The student will test it by plugging that word into the same three sentences for the photo/slide that they created. If that word makes sense and fits in the sentences, then most likely they have discovered what that object, idea, activity, or event may represent in the film the Lion King. There is also a PowerPoint attached with these instructions and an example.



Lesson – Visual Scribing

Have you ever heard of Visual Scribing?

If not, you’ve probably seen examples of Visual Scribing in presentations, apps, websites, or even restaurant menus . . . .

source: http://www.visualscribing.com/scribing/

Scribing is a great way to capture large amounts of information and present it to your audience visually! Scribing helps us organize that information into cohesive groups – it’s a lot easier on the eyes and the brain, not to mention, pretty fun to look at too!

Let’s check out this video from a professional digital storyteller, Devon, to learn a little more about scribing and see it in action:

Colouring in Complexity (Devon Bunce Story) from Digital Storytellers on Vimeo.


Scribing as a Teaching Tool

Clearly, there are a lot of ways you could incorporate Scribing into your lessons, whether you want to spruce up your presentations, efficiently categorize large amounts of information, or offer students an alternative to traditional written outlines. Oh, and that brings us to our next topic . . . .

Scribing as a Learning Tool

Give students the opportunity to create their own Visual Scribes! Not only is scribing a fun activity that engages students creatively, it forces them to think critically about how they want to present their information, as well as how it all fits together. Let’s try our own Visual Scribing exercise by creating a graphic for some historical figures:


Pick one historical figure: Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Joseph Brant, Betsy Ross, Sojourner Truth, Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Hermann Melville, Susan B. Anthony, Mark Twain . . . .

  • Make your character the focal point of the image. Give them a nice name tag, too.
  • Include three quotes – give each quote a doodle or two to go along with it.
  • Give your character a background/origin – we want to know where they came from!
  • Include any fun facts you learned about them!
  • Lastly, write your sources on the back side of the paper
Here’s an example, from yours truly