Analysing political cartoons from newspapers or magazines

The ability to express oneself, to think, act and communicate are dependent to a very high degree on linguistic competence. In every subject in the curriculum pupils are to be enabled so as to use and extend their cognitive, emotional, social and creative capacities with, and by means of, language and also, for example, in the form of pictorial language.
Cartoons are ideally suited for foreign language teaching because they can be “read” by everyone even when, of course, the context is occasionally difficult to understand.
A good selection (with political implications which are not too complex) cartoons—copied onto can plastic film—can be an ideal introduction to a subject.

Since they apparently represent less effort for pupils, they will get involved in a discussion late in the morning too.

The follows questions might be discussed related to a cartoon or caricature:
  • What is going on in the picture?
  • What is the setting?
  • Why?
  • What is the underlying message?
  • What background knowledge is necessary to understand the cartoon?
  • What is being criticised?
  • Why are cartoons/caricatures printed in papers? What are their advantages? (e.g. they appeal to many people, short and apposite, eye-catcher…).

In a further development pupils are given the task of finding a cartoon/caricature in a (foreign or native language) newspaper and to analyse it using the questions talked about in school. Some of the pupils can then present their cartoon in the class.