Teacher Toolkit

African American History High School

Political Cartoon Analysis

Political cartoons or editorial cartoons are an illustration or comic strip containing a social or political message which usually relates to current events. They can make a powerful statement but can, at the same time, be complicated to understand.

Analyze a political cartoon relating to civil rights by answering the questions below.

Note to teachers: Please reference the 3 cartoons relating to Brown v. Board of Education available on this website:
www.usd116.org/ProfDev/AHTC/lessons/GersdorfRotramel06/PoliticalCartoons.pdf. You may want to guide your students through this process the first time.

Visual Expression Word Expression
A. List key people or objects that stand out: B. What is the title of this cartoon?
C. Are there any words/phrases in the cartoon?
D. Are those words used by characters in the cartoon?
E. Are there any important dates/facts that appear in this cartoon?
F. Are there any symbols in the cartoon? G. Explain how the words in the cartoon explain the symbols.
H. Describe any action taking place in the cartoon. I. Which words or phrases in the cartoon appear to be the most significant?
J. Explain what you believe the message of the cartoon is and whether you agree or disagree with the cartoonist‘s message. K. What special interest groups would agree/disagree with the cartoon‘s message? Why?