Teachers Network
Translate Translate English to Chinese Translate English to French
  Translate English to German Translate English to Italian Translate English to Japan
  Translate English to Korean Russian Translate English to Spanish
Lesson Plan Search
Our Lesson Plans
TeachNet Curriculum Units
Classroom Specials
Popular Teacher Designed Activities
TeachNet NYC Directory of Lesson Plans TeachNet NYC Dirctory of Lesson Plans

Teachers Network Leadership Institute
How-To Articles
Videos About Teaching
Effective Teachers Website
Lesson Plans
TeachNet Curriculum Units
Classroom Specials
Teacher Research
For NYC Teachers
For New Teachers

TeachNet Grant:
Lesson Plans
TeachNet Grant Winners
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
TeachNet Grant Winners
Adaptor Grant Winners
Other Grant Winners
Math and Science Learning
Impact II
Grant Resources
Grant How-To's
Free Resources for Teachers
Our Mission
   Press Releases
   Silver Reel
   2002 Educational Publishers Award


Causes of the American Revolution: Interpreting Political Cartoons

Project URL: www.ccsd.edu/web/elementary

How it works:
This project is unique because students analyze historical documents and interpret political cartoons from the American Revolutionary War period to determine the causes of the conflict. They access websites for background information and learn how to interpret political cartoons. The students use higher-order thinking skills to determine if the information presented in the cartoons is accurate, what the colonists thought about the events of the period, and how political cartoons were used to inflame the citizens. This DBQ (Document-Based Question) project illustrates how the founding fathers used propaganda to persuade and incite the colonists to revolt against England.

Standards addressed:  

Students listen, speak, read, and write for information and understanding as well as critical analysis and evaluation; use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of major ideas, eras, themes, developments, and turning points in the history of the United States and New York State; and access, generate, process, and transfer information using appropriate technologies.

Materials used: 
A computer with Internet access and word processing software is required.

The students:
Causes of the American Revolution: Interpreting Political Cartoons is designed for fourth grade social studies students of various levels of achievement and learning abilities. It can easily be extended to higher grade levels. Prior to beginning, students should be familiar with navigating the Internet and working with word-processing applications. The students can work independently, cooperatively, or as a class.

Overall value:
Students use primary sources to determine the causes leading up to the events of a critical period in American history and use critical thinking skills to interpret and analyze political cartoons. The students realize the importance of primary sources in writing accurate accounts of history. They access websites for background information. In addition, this project prepares students for the Document-Based Question portion of the New York State Fifth Grade Social Studies Assessment.

Prior to presenting this project, teachers should give a mini-lesson on the purpose of political cartoons and how to interpret them.


About the teacher:
Dorothea A. Johnson, Library Media Specialist, has been teaching grades K-5 at Link Elementary School for nine years. She is also an educational technology instructor in the Clarkstown School District. Her background in library science, broadcast news, and social studies education enables her to design information literacy lessons that are creative and stimulate students to think critically.


Subject Areas:
Social Studies
Language Arts

Grade Levels: 



Come across an outdated link?
Please visit The Wayback Machine to find what you are looking for.


Journey Back to the Great Before