No Joke: The Value of Political Cartoons
Length of Time: 30-45 Minutes
Cartoons are highly effective ways to convey an opinion. In some cases, they become part of our lexicon. With an expanding electorate, often they were deployed to sway voters through emotional appeal. But one thing is certain—they were rarely something to joke about. Use this lesson to supplement your regular curriculum materials in a US History Survey Course.
How have cartoons conveyed and even influenced political discourse in American history?
Common Core Standards
English and Language Arts, Grades 11 and 12, Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
RI.11-12.9. Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.
English/Language Arts; History/Social Studies, Grades 9-12
Key Ideas and Details
RH.9-10-11-12.2. Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
RH.9-12.7. Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
US History 1: The Revolution through Reconstruction, 1763-1877
The Formation and Framework of American Democracy
Political Democratization, 1800-1860
Civil War and Reconstruction
US History 2: Reconstruction to the Present, 1877-Present
The Age of Reform, 1900-1940
Cold War America at Home, 1945-1980
Contemporary America, 1980-Present
American Government Elective