TASK: Working with Political Cartoons Creatively

In this task, you will...
    • apply your skills for analyzing political cartoons in a creative context;
    • prepare a lead-discussion with questions for your classmates, or
    • compare how German and U.S. cartoons portray the same topic, or
    • identify trends and common techniques or motives that occur in the depiction of the campaign issues.


Alone or in small groups, choose one of the following extension activities. Discuss your findings in a class discussion. Illustrate your findings using one or more examples.

You can also write a text for this task and share it in the database Learner Texts.


1    Prepare a lead discussion    

Go to the Cagle Website and select another cartoon about your overall topic. Analyze it critically (as you did above) and prepare a lead discussion for your group or class. Prepare interesting questions and maybe also background materials to be used in class.


2   Make a cross-cultural comparison  

Go to the German toonpool Website and browse it for German political cartoons about your topic. Do German and American cartoons cover the topic differently? Such differences can include the use of language and idioms, references to popular culture and literature, personal character traits, depiction of events or geography, portrayal of persons, and so on. Some of these aspects can be quite culturally specific, that means they might only be understood in one culture but not in another. You can present your results by focusing on one example cartoon.


3   Conduct a cartoon case study    

Visit the Cagle Website and browse the cartoons addressing your topic. In this case study, you should look for trends and similarties, but also extreme examples. Select not more than five cartoons and analyze them for common features, such as motives, symbols, language features, and others. Document and present your results.



  Self-study tips for this task  Analyzing cartoons   Doing research