Photographs or political cartoons can be used to generate interest in
a topic, recall earlier experiences, reinforce learning, enrich and
encourage reading, develop observation and critical-thinking skills, and
- (Optional): You may want to analyze one or more images together with your students before you ask them do analyze one on their own.
- Ask students to make a list of what they see in the photo or cartoon, including captions, titles and/or labels.
- Ask students to describe what is happening in the image.
- Ask students to analyze and interpret the images.
- Are there any objects or people that seem to be exaggerated?
- Are there any symbols? If so, what do you think they mean?
- If there are people or figures shown, are they named? If not, what do you think they represent?
- What does this image remind you of? Can you think of events or news
stories that are similar? Do these images or issues relate to your
community in any way?
- Ask students to evaluate the message.
- In your opinion, what point is the photographer trying to make? What
is the cartoonist’s message? What elements of the photo or cartoon give
you that impression?
- Do you agree with the point of view of the photographer or cartoonist? Do you agree with the message? Why or why not?
- What, if anything, should be done about the problem portrayed in the photo or cartoon? Who should do it?
- Ask students to create a response to the photo or cartoon. Options include:
- Create a cartoon (or describe an imaginary photograph) that represents an opposing point of view or an alternative message.
- Create a cartoon (or photograph) that more accurately represents your viewpoint.
- What images, labels, captions, or titles support your ideas?
- For additional strategies and exercises, refer to this worksheet from the National Archives and Records Administration.