Ken Burns Classroom

Roosevelt Political Cartoons

Ken Burns Film: The Roosevelts

Collections: Emergence of Modern America (1890-1930)

Subject: Government

Grade Level: 7-12

Run Time: 1 class period

Cartoon about the Progressive party
Untitled cartoon.

Background:

It comes with the territory for all people in the political spotlight that at some point their image will become part of a political cartoon. The Roosevelts were no exception. All three were praised and lampooned in political cartoons during their lives. Their politics were controversial and their physical characteristics and mannerisms were distinctive. All made “good copy” for political cartoonists.

Activity:

Have students analyze various cartoons featuring one of the Roosevelts. In their analysis, they should identify the event or issue depicted in the cartoon; explain what any labels, symbols, or caricatures are representing; and explain the cartoonist’s message and their thoughts/reaction on that message. Examples of Roosevelt cartoons can be found at Theodore-Roosevelt.com (http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trcartoonsprompt.html) and at FDR Cartoons http://www.nisk.k12.ny.us/fdr/FDRcartoons.html.

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