Use these cartoons in your classroom as a fresh approach to teach about the Constitution.|
►CNN's Dan Shefelman gives the right to bear arms a big bear hug
Download these for use in the assignment or background info.
Nothing is more patriotic than social criticism
The First Amendment? D'oh!
"If you're not doing anything wrong, you need not worry"
Defining the Separation of Powers
Conflicting Constitutional Views
Political Cartoons and the Constitution
In May 2005, Congress enacted a law stating that "Each educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution." This year Constitution Day is Sept. 17.
To help schools comply with that federal requirement we've produced a program that encourages teachers to use political cartoons as a resource to discuss and explore constitutional issues.
Check the resources on this page for working materials. Cartoons on a variety of Constitutional issues, are posted in a gallery at right. In addition we've selected a few lessons from the Cartoons for the Classroom Lesson Library to prompt classroom discussion on Constitutional issues. More are available in the CartoonsLibrary here.
Click here to download a Cartoon Evaluation Worksheet to help students analyze and understand a poltical cartoon.
Under the First Amendment there is no such thing as a false idea. However pernicious an opinion may seem, we depend for its correction not on the conscience of judges and juries but on the competition of other ideas.
-- United States Supreme Court: Gertz vs. Robert Welch, 1974
Each student will write a letter to the editor of his/her local newspaper that explains the concept of Freedom of Speech as it relates to the statement above. The 1974 ruling was in defense of political cartoons.
Additional suggested topics
In Turkey, cartoonist Musa Kart was fined $3,500 for portraying the prime minister as a cat entangled in yarn. (See lesson, in box at right). Should drawing a caricature be considered a crime in this country?
Turkish fury as champion of free speech, sues over cartoon
Turkish press under fire
in Greece. Austrian cartoonist Gerhard Haderer was sentenced by the Greek courts to six months' imprisonment in January on grounds that he had caricaturized Jesus Christ as an alcohol-addicted surfer in his comic book. The cartoonist didn't know the book had been published in Greece until he learned that he had been tried and sentenced to six months on charges of casting aspersions on religion. Is it justifiable to be sentenced by another country's court for a book written in one's own country?
Cartoonist faces Greek jail for blasphemy
In his book Drawn to Extremes, Chris Lamb writes: "No one serves the role of government critic as well as editorial cartoonists do. As artists, satirsts and commentators, editorial cartoonists make a unique and invaluable contribution to society." How does an editorial artist contribute to society?
Why do some countries fear the free exchange of ideas ~~ a concept that we often take for granted in this country?