No Joke - My Voice Counts!

3, 4, 5

After comparing and contrasting entertainment and editorial cartoons, the learner uses cartooning as a means of public voice about political and social issues. 

PrintOne Forty-Five Minute Session, plus time to create a cartoon
  • Distinguish entertainment from editorial cartoons.
  • Use the editorial cartoon format to voice an opinion that affects the common good.
  • projected copies of editorial and family fun cartoons (recent, handouts below, or primary source online
  • copies of handout: Venn Diagram
  • projected copy of handout Core Democratic Values (Spanish version available)
  • copies of handout Editorial Cartoon Rubric (Spanish version available)
  • Various art supplies
  • Comic Creator at Read, Write, or
Home Connection 

Read editorial cartoons in the newspaper at home this week and discuss the meaning with their families.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Show a cartoon from a recent funny paper, especially a non-political, fun cartoon. Talk about what we all observe using the five Ws. What is it about? Who is it about? When is it happening? Why was it created? Where might it be seen? 

  2. Repeat this five-Ws discussion with an issue-related/editorial cartoon that is appropriate for the participants' ages.

  3. On the Venn diagram handout, participants work with partners or a group to compare the traits of entertainment and editorial cartoons.

  4. Discuss the handout of the Core Democratic Values. Read the CDVs together and discuss any unfamiliar terms. Reflect on how the CDVs are related to speaking up about change. Discuss how editorial cartoons are a public voice to bring attention to things that need to change.

  5. Cartoons educate the public for the common good. For example, editorial cartoons about cleaning up the environment raise awareness of the issue and may cause more people to take action, therefore bringing about a social change. Because the change is for the common good, making an editorial cartoon can be a form of philanthropy.

  6. The handout Editorial Cartoon Rubric may guide them as they create an editorial cartoon voicing a point on an issue. They determine an issue, what they want to tell people, and use the writing process to write the concise sentence that goes with a cartoon. They revise and edit in response to suggestions on word choice.

    Display the finished cartoons in a public place or on social media.

Cross Curriculum 

Each learner selects a social issue that he or she feels is important. The learner creates an editorial cartoon expressing his or her viewpoint on the selected issue. The cartoons are displayed throughout the school.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.3 Recognize that citizens have a responsibility for the common good as defined by democratic principles.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.3 Discuss the importance of personal virtue, good character, and ethical behavior in a democracy.
      2. Benchmark E.6 Identify and describe fundamental democratic principles.
      3. Benchmark E.9 Describe how philanthropic activities can bring about social change.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.6 Make a connection between fundamental democratic principles and philanthropy.
  4. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark E.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.