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Thursday, January 26, 2012
Every year, students in grades 5-8 participate in a local contest called the Yahara River Writers Contest. There are categories in poetry, editorials and editorial cartoons. In art class, we study editorial cartoons. We analyze cartoons for their use of exaggeration, symbolism, irony and point of view. Cartoons for the Classroom has an amazing selection of lesson plans for studying editorial cartoons. There are over 200 printable cartoons with questions and explanations about them. We also watch this video The Language of Editorial Cartoons, which is really great. I doubt you'd want to pay $99 on amazon though. Our school had it when I started. Maybe you could find that video or a similar one somewhere else.
I also make sure to be very careful when teaching about editorial cartoons that I find cartoons that show opinions from both political parties. Wisconsin is a very politically divided state right now and we are careful to not make anyone feel bad about their families' political beliefs.
After analyzing cartoons, the students drew their own editorial cartoons. They chose a political, social, local or personal issue important to them. We used the provided templates to draw the cartoons. You can see them on the right hand side of the contest page here. They are listed under "entry forms".