Politics, but Not as Usual
Wales, Andrew, School Arts
Most fifth graders don't think about current events, however, they do like to look at cartoons. By showing students editorial cartoons and having them make up their own editorial cartoons, I hope that I am promoting a lifelong interest and awareness of political events.
I have a collection of political cartoons, featuring Uncle Sam, the Republican elephant and the Democratic donkey. I explain to the class what these symbols represent and compare them to team mascots.
Next, we look at examples from magazines and newspapers. I try to find cartoons with simple subjects that are easy to explain. I ask the students what they think the artist is trying to say, and try to get them to tell me what the cartoon means. I explain that when we are talking about the artists' opinions we are not judging whether they are right or wrong.
I show an equal amount of pro-Democrat and pro-Republican cartoons. After discussing several samples the students begin to create their own political cartoons. First they choose a party to support. …