Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Pictures with a Point: Using Political Cartoons in the Classroom


library of congress logoIf you’re in need of some political cartoons or caricatures to use in your classroom, then you should definitely dial up the Library of Congress as this site hosts a very cool online collection of 500+ prints from American History created during the 18th and 19th Centuries.

After accessing the site, specific cartoons can be located by searching the library via keyword and/or image type. Once a cartoon is selected, additional resources can be found in the following sections at the top of each page:

» About This Item: Information about the title, creator(s), date published, medium and a summary of the image to name a few.

» Obtaining Copies: Copyright guidelines related to use of the image.

» Access to Original: Directions for obtaining permission to view the original item(s).

Check out a campaign poster from the collection:

political cartoon

Classroom Connection:

Many teachers have discovered the value of using primary sources in the classroom. But why are political cartoons so useful? Besides the obvious humor, they can also be utilized to teach students about political perspectives surrounding important political events in U.S. History. In addition, these images can develop a number of critical and creative thinking skills as well as visual literacy competencies. Because political cartoons can be found in most newspapers and magazines—both print and online—they provide students with the opportunity to learn about persuasive techniques and symbolism using a “real-world” tool.  Lastly, political cartoons provide educators with an excellent alternative to text-based activities.

Need some political cartoon activities? Then be sure to check out the Cartoons for the Classroom site. This resource contains 100+ lesson plans created by members of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC).

Thanks to Educational Technology and Mobile Learning and Free Technology for Teachers for sharing this awesome edtech resources!

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