This fall HSP has been working to create more political cartoon lesson plans on topics such as Civil War, Economics, Big Business, World War I, and Immigration. We already have two unit plans available showcasing a very small group of cartoons for elementary and middle grades, and these new lesson plans will help expand our resources to the high school level with a series of topics and options for student use. In the future, all of HSP’s digitized political cartoons will all be categorized by topic and date. This will allow teachers to pick and choose which cartoons they wish to use from a group specifically selected as appropriate for student use.
Eventually, through the HINT project, teachers will have the option to use our political cartoons as a supplement to almost every historical subject and as a chance to enhance student literacy skills. Imagine students studying a political cartoon featuring Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis tearing a U.S. map in half, or looking at immigration history through the lens of actual anti-immigrant political propaganda. These are one-of-a-kind satirical items that will only enhance the historical learning experience.
Political cartoons are an excellent tool for teaching many historical topics. They offer students a glimpse into differing opinions as well as add a level of engagement and comedy that cannot be met through normal informational text. It is interesting for students to see the symbolism in the cartoons and understand the differing points of view. Also, as a primary source, it helps to meet Common Core standards in both History and Literacy.
We are hoping for these additional lesson plans to debut on our website beginning in early 2015 so please stay tuned for our next educational update! Also, if you wish to make any inquires into what cartoons would be best for a particular subject and grade level, please contact us.