Posts Tagged ‘national curriculum standards’

6 Reasons Why Editorial Cartoons Are an Essential Teaching Tool

“One strong editorial cartoon is worth a hundred solemn editorials.”
—William Zinsser, On Writing Well


CC0 Public Domain, via Pixabay

My seventh-grade social studies teacher gave extra credit to students who brought in editorial cartoons for class discussions. Luckily for me, stacks of newspapers were common in my house. My father was a printing-press operator and a newspaper addict. We got three newspapers daily and sometimes more when my father couldn’t resist a newsstand. So I got a lot of extra credit that year.

Editorial cartoons are all that I remember from that class. My newspaper monopoly aside, I remember being captivated by grown-up cartoons and wanted to understand them, which is how I became interested in current events and issues. I still get excited when I see editorial cartoons. An astute cartoon is an oasis in a wit-starved world.

To accompany our Editorial Cartoons Curriculum Guide, here are six reasons why editorial cartoons are an enduring curriculum essential.

Why do you think editorial cartoons are an essential teaching tool?

Share your thoughts with us on Twitter #ProQuest or in the comments below.

ProQuest editors are continually adding editorial cartoons to ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher. Don’t have it? Request a trial.

CultureGrams — Teaching Activities: Turkey

Teachers looking to adopt the Common Core State Standards Initiative can find a great resource in CultureGrams. In the Teaching Resources area located in the lower right-hand corner of each country landing page, and at the bottom of each page, CultureGrams includes a link to sample teaching activities for all grades that follow Common Core, as well as national curriculum standards.


One example is the “Turkey: Europe or Asia?” activity, which correlates to standards for a multitude of subjects, including history, social studies, and geography. The activity helps students to understand the factors that influence how countries are grouped into regions.

  1. Divide the class into two debate teams: one that will argue that Turkey should be classified as part of Europe and another that will argue that it should be grouped with Asia. Select three students to be judges, making sure they are aware they must read both teams’ materials.
  2. For homework, assign all students to read the CultureGrams report for Turkey. Then, assign each team the reports from the two different regions. Team One will read selections from the Middle Eastern reports (Iran, Syria, Lebanon, etc.). Team Two will read selections from the European reports (Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria, etc.).
  3. Instruct the students that they may want to skim the CultureGrams reports assigned to the opposite teams in order to anticipate their opponent’s arguments. Remind the judges to read the assignments for both teams.
  4. In class, give each team time to prepare and organize its arguments.
  5. Divide the board in half and have each time write the group’s main arguments on it.
  6. Have a spokesperson from each team explain the group’s arguments (without responding to what the other team has written on the board).
  7. Give the teams time to consult and come up with rebuttals, while reinforcing their initial arguments. A different spokesperson from each team delivers the rebuttals to the class, with help from team members who raise their hands to offer additional comments.
  8. The class judges decide which team wins and justify their decision to the class.

Find more ideas for this teaching activity, as well as dozens more activities, on CultureGrams. Have you used a teaching activity? Leave a comment to share your experience and ideas with us!