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Political / editorial cartoons in the classroom - Analysing diagrams

Web resources for teachers and students
(>>> = top picks)  

Neu bei
Global warming
Politische Karikaturen im Englischunterricht - Materialien zu Quellen, zur Analyse und zur Interpretation
Worksheets (etc.) for analysis Sources for cartoons Analyses of individual cartoons
A useful standard handout Evolution of man and woman
Cartoon analysis worksheet Mohammed-Karikaturen Separation of powers cartoon
The Middle East (from PBS) > Questions /Lesson plan >>> Political Cartoons from Cagle A huge database of cartoons searchable by topic and date Supreme Court landmarks: Brown vs. Board of Education
Political symbols of the USA (Handout for students. Word document. Source: Wikipedia) An interactive analysis of a cartoon by Dr Seuss
Creating a cartoon
To find more worksheets use the following query with Google: filetype:pdf cartoons worksheet
(and variations thereof.
Also try out this

TIME cartoons of the week
Election 2006 cartoons

Cartoons from The Economist

 >>>   Analyses of various cartoons on the Iraq war  (Can be used as examples of what we expect from our students.)
Newsweek education program - Teacher's Guide
(Cartoons sorted by week with questions)
Another teacher's guide from Newsweek
History through toons
Yahoo! editorial cartoons
Newsweek cartoons 2004 Worksheets and answers
Another worksheet   And another one Some Clinton cartoons analysed Historical cartoons, sorted according to topics, with interpretations
Another basic worksheet Animated cartoons on Al-jazeera
Another one with students' answers International political cartoons
And another one   One more including info on a cartoon Editorial cartoons with background information
Vocabulary sheet
Interactive cartoon analysis Editorial cartoons on
Analysing cartoons and propaganda Political humor on (anti war)
Political cartoon assignment
Detailed worksheet with assessment
>>> Cartoons from with background information, questions and links.
4-page-brochure with worksheet Cartoons from the Guardian
  >>>  Two good worksheets incl. answer sheet This Week''s Teacher's Guide von Newsweek Vietnam War cartoons
A 16-page Australian brochure  Pritchertt Cartoons  

A "Persuasion Map" which students can print out. Their "thesis" would be their analysis of the cartoon's message which they then have to support with arguments
Wie analysiere ich eine Karikatur? (Aufgabe und Lösung)
Feindbilder in Karikaturen
Historische Anspielungen in Titelbildern des SPIEGEL

>>> Understanding the World of Political Cartoons
Very good 65-page brochure

Editorial cartoons on Yahoo
Chappatte Cartoons
Cartoon sites on

Cartoons by Randy Glasbergen

Caricature live - President Bush together with his impersonator. Watch this from 39 minutes into the program  (runs for about 10 minutes).

Quick fix materials for a teaching unit on political cartoons

To make a collection of handouts for a unit on cartoons
1) Design a title page
2) Introduce political symbols (use this page with copyable material. (DOC-file)
3) Show students in examples from the Web or their local paper how symbols are used.
4) Introduce students to symbolism, exaggeration, labeling, analogy, and irony, as done on this handout.
5) Project a cartoon from Cagle and analyse it together with the students using a sheet like this.
6) Coax students into using typical interpretaion phrases, cull these from the web. (Here is a small collection of useful phrases.  -  You may also use this handy worksheet
7) Students should also have a tentative model for an interpretation. They can find some (suitable if not always perfect) models here. (Scroll down!) If need be write one yourself.
8) You could also prepare a checklist for symbols that appear in cartoons very often. Here's a model.
9) If you want to create a more detailed sheet for analysing cartoons, use this as a model.
For a more thorough analysis
a) refer students to the Wikipedia entry on editorial, editorial cartoon, and caricature.
b) provide students with a list of feelings
c) Go to Cartoons for the Classroom for further ideas

PBS: Dissect an Ad  (1996 election) This Modern World by Tom Tomorrow
  >>>   Cartoon Handbook (from analysing cartoons to making your own, 45 pages) Cartoons by Aaron Taylor
Cartoons from the New Yorker
Icon, symbol, cliché Karikatur in der Wikipedia

Arbeitsblätter zum Irakkrieg (von Cornelsen)

Unusual spoof ads

More about analysing photographs

Newsweek Photo Galleries

Photo Analyis Worksheet

Media Literacy

Karikaturen in der Bildungsarbeit

Business cartoons
Legal artoons

PowerPoint presentations on cartoons
PowerPoint presentations on political cartoons from Google
The Columbia disaster (few words, lots of symbols)
 An introduction (the basics) Give this to a student and let him/her turn it into a presentation with lots of topical examples.
>>>   This presentation is even better (but the cartoons are difficult to understand. Adapt to a German audience.)
 Interpreting an historical cartoon (incl. PowerPoint presentation

A short introduction using historical Irish cartoons as examples

Möglicherweise das heißeste
Filmfestival des Jahres 2008 >>>
Methodik More sources  
Interpretieren politischer Karikaturen als eine von vielen Methoden (BPB) Das Lemma "Karikatur" bei der Wikipedia (deutsch)
War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.
- Ambrose Bierce
Die Karikatur im Unterricht Das Lemma "Editorial cartoon " bei der Wikipedia Ideas for students activities
Hand out a set of cartoons covering the same topic or two similar ones to a group.
Let students
- scan them for symbols, labels, feeling
- choose and then analyse one of them in a group discussion, using one of the handouts
- write an interpretation
Die Hotspots-Methode
Analyzing and improving the worst newspaper comic strips
 Editorial cartoons - Link collection from Pedster's Planet
Cagle Cartoons differently arranged.
Cartoon analysis guide Editorial cartoons from USA Today
News cartoons from

Left wing cartoons, posters, stickers etc. (Wage Peace)
Written editorials vs political cartoons Cartoons for the classroom (archive)  
  And many more cartoons of various political inclinations


More information. Student analyses.


Ihnen fehlt der Hintergrund zu einem Cartoon? Wie man ein Thema systematisch recherchiert, erklärt Ihnen unsere Fortsetzungsgeschichte "Stefan und die Sikhs". Hier.

Analysing the purpose and meaning of political cartoons Exhibitions from the Centre for the Study of Political Graphics
 Lesson plan Why do they hate us?
Parade Skills Sheet Political resistance cartoon posters
Karikaturen im Unterricht und Links
Cartoon of the day
Daily Right Wing Cartoons of the Day
Collection of editorial cartoons that deal with meat, animal rights, diets, nutrition, smoking, alcohol, government and more.
 Warning! Definitely not politically correct! >>>  
Holocaust Cartoon Competition in Iran (iranische Website)  
 Warning! Definitely not politically correct! >>>
 Warning! Possibly very controversial! >>>  
Middle East Cartoons
  Herb Block cartoons with brief explanations
  Cartoons from McClatchy
 Another lesson plan (slavery)  Additional resources
 And another lesson plan Symbols of the USA
Using and analyzing political cartoons (a 52-page booklet dealing with historical cartoons Flag Day Coloring Sheets
American Icons
A brief history of political cartoons Symbols of US Government
"The cartoon" by Herb Block (essay/column)  Visual literacy
 Guidelines for studying cartoons (Set of lessons) Historical political cartoons
 A detailed lesson plan American political cartoons - An introduction
 Assessment criteria Identifying symbols (New Zealand)
Assessing persuasive writing A 31-page Australian paper on "Censorship and the Political Cartoonist"  
A large number of resources (handouts etc.) from a Canadian university A very brief introduction into the topic  
An Integrated Curriculum For The Washington Post Newspaper In Education Program  (nice graphics and layout) Propaganda Techniques in Literature and Online Political Ads  
An academic analysis of September 11 cartoons  
Race-baiting, Cartooning and Ideology:
A conceptual blending analysis of contemporary and WW II war cartoons
- Academic paper
Letter Generator
Art and propaganda (student statements)
  Propaganda techniques and advertising strategies  
  18-page Australian essay: "In defence of the cartoonist's license to mock"  

Check these Google results for more information and printable texts

  Patriotic Clip Art  
  Cartoon + Karikatur Glossar (deutsch)  
  Off the mark cartoons (lots of categories, not editorial)  
  Der Gebrauch von Stereotypen in Karikaturen (Seminararbeit)  
A list of feelings  A feeling vocabulary
More feelings-websites
American Symbols
Liberty Bell The Star-Spangled Banner  
John Bull & Uncle Sam The Statue of Liberty

The donkey and the elephant


How to interpret graphs and diagrams    
How to read a graph The Diagram Bank (Business & Economics) Analyzing statistical tables Example in dialogue form
Analyzing immigration statistics (PBS) Simple diagrams from USAtoday Infografikanalyse
Analysing population data Schaubildinterpretationen (Bilder und Aufgaben) Interpretation von Diagrammen
CBS news polls Handbuch der Infografik Schaubild -Lemma in der Wikipedia
Berufliche Schulen - Gymnasien - Abitur Englisch Interpretation von Schaubildern [Aufbau] U.S. Census Bureau Maps
American election polls (2004) Infographics Georgia Agricultural University McDonald's/Starbucks Infographic
Assorted statistics (USA)  Diagrams etc concerning the wars in Iraq and Vietnam
Lots of current American public opinion statistics Immigration statistics Satirical infographics
Global warming diagrams Lots of graphics on global warming can be found in the wiki Globalwarmingart World energy consumption (Google images with lots of diagrams)

Fünf Blätter für französische SchülerInnen (auf Englisch mit frz. Vokabeln)

More phrases for presentations an for interpreting graphs

PEW Hispanic liefert viele Statistiken, Tabellen und Schaubilder zur Situation der Minderheiten in den USA Task: Summarize the text and the diagram in English

Describing trends

Typical errors   Key vocabulary and a model text

Gute Schaubilder finden sich auch bei USA today  

Help from Oxford University Press

A writing task with sample answer

How infographics work - Excellent examples and teaching ideas from the Washington Post (partly useful also for mediation)

Preparing for the IELTS exam. With lots of informations on interpreting raphs, model answers and exercises

MORE IELTS preparation (6 pages)


USA Today Snapshots bei Yahoo


Infographic: Elections in the UK
Creating Charts and Graphs Readinng and Interpreting Graphs Infographic: Marathon Meal
History of Infographics (and Infographic Design) A simple overview of different types of infographics Creating visuals  (all the elements of graphics)
Pair activity: peaks and troughs (photocopiable) Assorted links Annotated charts from The Economist
Useful diagrams dealing with current consumer behaviour of teens in Germany. They are in German and can be used for mediation exercises.

Writing about graphs



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Last updated October 14, 2007