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Primary Sources & Lesson Plans
Student Activity Sheet for Cartoons

SECTION 1: History Today

1. Identify all of the components of the cartoon you brought in: pictures, words, and symbols.

2. What is the cartoon’s literal meaning? What more subtle message(s) does it convey?

3. What is the “joke’ of the cartoon?

4. What additional information would you need to know to understand the humor of this cartoon?

5. If someone looked at this cartoon in 100 years, would he or she understand it? Why or why not? What mistaken impressions of our society might he/she form from it?

SECTION 2: Brainstorming

1. List everything you notice about the cartoon your teacher gave you.

2. Look at the cartoon again, and be sure to include all words, pictures, and symbols. Be sure to include where the cartoon appeared.

3. Can you tell when and where the cartoon is set?

4. What do you think is the cartoonist’s message?

5. What else would you need to know to understand the cartoon’s message fully?

6. Do you think this cartoon is funny?

7. What does this cartoon reveal about contemporary attitudes towards Jews? Women?

SECTION 3: Now that you know…

1. To whom do you think this cartoon appealed when it was first drawn?

2. Does knowing the cartoon’s context affect your opinion of its message?

3. How did the cartoonist’s point affect the visual content of the cartoon?

4. What biases of yours affected your understanding of and/or reaction to the cartoon?

5. What biases of the cartoonist are evident?

6. Was this cartoon an effective way to demonstrate an opinion?

7. How did this cartoon change or add to your knowledge of this time period and/or topic?

SECTION 4: Follow-up Activities

1. Draw your own cartoon.

2. Find two cartoons on the same subject and compare them.

Document Study Sheets

Anti-Semitic cartoon, 1881

Sketches of the Henry St. Settlement, 1934

Political cartoon, Racial Discrimination Case, 1951


How to Cite This Page
Jewish Women's Archive. "JWA - Cartoons - Student Activity Sheet for Cartoons." <>.