Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Teaching With Cartoons - A Visual History Of Donkeys, Elephants, Parties, & Politics

Source: Politico

Our students are avid consumers of politics and history. They always ask, though, how the Democratic donkey and the Republican elephant became the icons of the respective parties. Both animals, however strong and noble, seem somewhat incongruous to the preferred imagery of political ambition.

Political cartoonists throughout the ages have captured these two creatures in brilliant colors and tart commentaries. Skilled artists have swayed society's opinions through targeted visual satires. For their part, educators have consistently embraced these editorial cartoons as terrific tools in teaching primary sources, points of view, pictorial language, and symbolic metaphors.

Source: Politico

The curators at Politico, one of the sharpest websites for up-to-the-minute political news, have gathered together a stunning gallery of historical cartoons in honor of the Republican and Democratic conventions. They trace the legacy of the donkey — from Andrew Jackson's anti-elitism, to Woodrow Wilson's internecine war, to Hillary Clinton's divided constituency. They map the evolution of the elephant — from Thomas Nast's first salvo, to William McKinley's bandwagon, to Donald Trump's hair on fire.

Source: Politico

Both compendiums of cartoons provide excellent resources for teachers in history, government, civics, social studies, English, and language arts classes. The collections include many seldom-seen images. They also offer terrific examples of illustrations to practice the skills of graphicacy and to follow the four critical steps in analyzing an image.

Source: Politico

Source: Politico

Check out the Democratic cartoon collection here and the Republican cartoon collection here.

For other ideas about teaching with political cartoons, we recommend:

Source: Politico

Source: Politico

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