Using The Editorial Cartoons Of The New Deal
Local Portfolio Requirement
This project uses the editorial
cartoons of the New Deal Era to satisfy one of the seven parts of the eleventh grade
AP United States History portfolio requirements. The portfolio is a local requirement, not a College
Board requirement. The work is challenging but can be adapted to fit many purposes.
What was the focus of this assignment?
Students were required
to use newspapers, magazines and editorial cartoons of the New Deal Era. The project
discourages copy and paste CD-ROM activity. It is impossible to prevent CD-ROM use
and Internet surfing. The challenge was to create an assignment that required the
use of contemporary New Deal materials while still allowing for 1990's methods of
How would teachers get microfilm to complete this project?
Unless you have an
exceptional school library it will be necessary to work with local libraries. For
the completion of this project the Schenectady County Public Library allowed the
Niskayuna school library to borrow a year's editions of The New York Times
microfilm. Each week a different year was on loan. The assignment encouraged students
to work in 1932 and 1937. The Schenectady High School shared their microfilm resources
of Time and Newsweek magazines for that time period.
How long did it take to complete this project?
Six weeks. The directions
are detailed. In 1997 the assignment took closer to ten weeks since students were
distracted by the AP exam and other end of the year activities.
Can the assignment be simpler?
Using editorial cartoons
is very flexible. A much simpler assignment is possible using just one or two cartoons.
For example the cartoon used as the "headline" cartoon for this project
has sufficient detail to be a simpler assignment.
Using The Utopian Fireside ( by
S.J. Ray [Kansas City Star (MO), March 11, 1937] students might be challenged to
find answers for the following:
Ickes, Hopkins, Lewis, Farley and Wallace. What was their role in the New Deal?
is Wallace holding a corn plant and a baby pig? Why is a baby pig particularly
outline map of the United States has two black states. What were the states? What
is implied by the title of the map, 1940 plans?
of the men on FDR's knee also ran for President but not against FDR. Who is the man?
What special part did he play in 1937? Given the subsequent flow of events following
this cartoon is the placement of the two men on FDR's knee a good prediction?
is the child crying?
is the significance of the blocks in front of Lewis?
does Ray use the term chat instead of talk in the speech balloon?
How do I use today's cartoons?
The assignment can
be easily modified to study modern topics for which political cartoons are available.
Encourage students to collect cartoons from newspapers and magazines during the year.
Newsweek has had a collection of cartoons that review the events of the year
in early January. Students and teachers will find that issue particularly useful.
Modify the deadlines to fit your time needs. Be sure to require proper bibliographic
How do I download the cartoons?
To download this file or any of the cartoons on the
FDR Editorial cartoon site please refer to downloading instructions. Download only
the detailed view.
Am I free to copy this assignment?
You are free to copy
and use any part of the assignment. Since all the cartoons are intended for classroom
use be sure to limit their use to student projects. Always encourage students to
properly cite their sources. Several examples are given below. If you make improvements
or have suggestions please sent them to PaulKB2T@aol.com.
Is a rubric written?
A rubric, written by Eitan Shapario (Class of 1998),
like the rest of the project can be modified to suit your classroom needs. Using
the rubric in conjunction with the student checklist at the end should help the teacher
and the student.
Are there any examples of projects completed?
All students who wished
to have their work posted will soon be part of this site.
- The reader has the sense that he/she was there.
- Controversy, Color and Characters come alive.
- The editorial opinion of a newspaper(s) is quoted and evaluated.
- Key concepts are logically linked to appropriate cartoons.
- Headlines are included as part of the text.
- Magazines and other periodicals have been consulted and quoted.
- The completed bibliography is in correct format.
- Box numbers of the Basil OíConnor collection are correct.
- Links are no longer than four words.
- Work is on a disk in Word format.
- Cartoons not on web are scanned and included on disk.
- Special thanks to
- the staff of the FDR Presidential library in Hyde Park. This project
would not be possible without their help and making the Basil O'Connor collection
- the Schenectady County Public Library for their loan of The
New York Times microfilm.
- Schenectady High School for their loan of Time magazine
and Newsweek on microfilm.
- the Jedi (the AP US History class) for all their suggestions,
patience and help in creating this assignment.
- Colleague Joe Baciewicz, Andy Rosenkrantz (class of 1997) and
the AP Computer Science classes at Niskayuna High School
mail to Paul Bachorz at PaulKB2T@aol.com.
Copyright © 1997 Niskayuna High School