Middle School, High School
Larry Dorenkamp – Barringer Fellowship MTI
Political cartoons are a form of expression that have been around for hundreds of years. Americans (more specifically newspapers and their editors) have used this form of expression to share their views on numerous topics. A political cartoon mostly uses as few words as possible. Also, they USUALLY contain three key elements: caricature, analogy, and symbolism.
Click on the cartoon on the RIGHT side of your screen. Study the caricature, analogy, and symbolism. What message is it conveying to you?
Your Sea of Liberty challenge is to create a political cartoon from the Federal Period. The focus of your cartoon will be either The Alien and Sedition Acts, or The Louisiana Purchase.
Political cartoons are a form of expression that has been around for hundreds of years. Americans (more specifically newspapers and their editors) have used this form of expression to share their view on numerous topics. Students will display the ability to use higher level thinking skills by implementing caricature, and more specifically, symbols and analogy into commentary about the Alien and Sedition Acts, or The Louisiana Purchase.
—Explanation for the cartoon provided:
James Akin’s earliest-known signed cartoon, “The Prairie Dog” is an anti-Jefferson satire, relating to Jefferson’s covert negotiations for the purchase of West Florida from Spain in 1804. Jefferson, as a scrawny dog, is stung by a hornet with Napoleon’s head into coughing up “Two Millions” in gold coins, (the secret appropriation Jefferson sought from Congress for the purchase). On the right dances a man (possibly a French diplomat) with orders from French minister Talleyrand in his pocket and maps of East Florida and West Florida in his hand. He says, “A gull for the People.”
—Students might benefit more from a WHOLE class discussion about the three elements of political cartoons. Additional, reviewing some modern day examples, pointing out symbols and analogies will enhance their comprehension of these terms.
Caricature = a picture or description of someone or something that ludicrously exaggerates distinctive qualities of a person, place, or thing. (President Obama’s caricature usually has unusually large ears)
Analogy = a similarity between like features of two or more things on which a comparison may be made. (Football and war, for example)
Symbolism = something used for or regarded as representing something else (Statue of Liberty and Uncle Sam are symbols of the United States)
Create a cartoon that targets ONE of these two topics.
Your cartoon should incorporate the three key elements of political cartoons (caricature, analogy, and symbolism), and be neat and colorful. Remember, the less words, the more effective the cartoon.
A) take a 8.5 x 11 piece of heavy stock paper (provided by your teacher) and creatively draw you caricatures, symbolism, and analogy in a nice neat colorful way. Best practice for this exercise is to first do a rough sketch on “scratch paper “. Then, use the heavy stock for the final copy.
B) Once the image is complete, take a digital camera, iPhone/smartphone, or iPad/digital tablet and take a legible picture of your creation.
C) Save it to location on your computer where you will be able to easily locate it.
D) Submit it by clicking the red TAKE CHALLENGE button underneath these steps. From the CREATE MY PROJECT window, click the “ADD AN IMAGE CIRCLE”. Follow the directions given, and save.