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TPS Quarterly

The Library of Congress > Teachers > TPS Program > Learning Activity (Sec.)

Evaluating Differing Opinions in Political Cartoons


The purpose of this activity is to facilitate students’ higher-order thinking skills through the analysis of issues presented in political cartoons. Students will identify sources of information about current issues. They will analyze three political cartoons related to the women’s suffrage movement, discussing the techniques cartoonists use to advocate through this medium and determining the cartoonists’ stands on the issue. Students will then examine contemporary political cartoons, formulate opinions about the issues addressed in the cartoons, and conduct research to get more information about the issues to confirm or modify their initial opinions.


After completing this learning activity, students will be able to:

  • Explain ways that people can become informed before developing views about issues and institutions
  • Identify artistic and persuasive techniques used in political cartoons
  • Analyze issues addressed in political cartoons
  • Use research evidence to formulate an opinion on an issue expressed in a political cartoon

Time Required

Two class periods

Recommended Grade Range



Woman Suffrage ~ Scrapbooks ~ 1897-1911
Political Cartoons—various collections

Subject/ Sub-Subject

Social Studies: Civics
Life Skills: Thinking and Reasoning
Language Arts: Writing, Viewing


McREL 4th Edition Standards and Benchmarks


Standard 29. Understands the importance of political leadership, public service, and a knowledgeable citizenry in American constitutional democracy.

Life Skills: Thinking and Reasoning

Standard 1. Understands and applies the basic principles of presenting an argument.
Standard 2. Understands and applies basic principles of logic and reasoning.

Language Arts: Writing

Standard 4. Gathers and uses information for research purposes.

Language Arts: Viewing

Standard 9. Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media.


Center on Congress at Indiana University Teaching with Primary Sources Staff

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