April 27, 2017

Analyzing Primary Sources: Reading Cartoons

By th' way, what's that big word?

We often think of cartoons as funny but, in addition to entertaining and amusing us, they can also enlighten, provoke or persuade us. Political or editorial cartoons, in particular, provide subjective viewpoints about current issues and events and the people involved in them. Cartoonists use a variety of techniques—symbolism, exaggeration, irony, analogy and labeling to name a few—to convey their story or perspective through images. Learn more about these techniques by completing the online activity: It’s No Laughing Matter.

Next, learn more about the art of cartooning by reading the articles and visiting the online exhibitions linked to below.

Finally, try your hand at analyzing a cartoon using these political cartoon resources.

Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning from Political Cartoons

Learning from the Source: Cartoonist Commentary-Vietnam War

Learning from the Source: Perspectives on U.S. Expansion

PSN featured political cartoons

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