Monday, March 2, 2009

Dr. Seuss Comics & Your Own Comic From "Night"


Though I am not here today, you all are going to complete some important work. The first element of today's recognition of Dr. Seuss' birthday is to see that he was much more than the children's book author we all have understood him to be. Though he would've been an amazing author if he only had written children's books, he is also the author/ artist behind over 400 political cartoons that he created well before he wrote any of our childhood favorites. In the following activity, you're going to analyze some of the political cartoons he penned during WWII.

Some important facts to consider when analyzing Seuss' cartoons:

-He was the son of German immigrants, but was not Jewish
-He thought that racism against African Americans was wrong
-He was racist against the Japanese
-He was critical of the American Government
-He hated Nazism
-He thought communism was not as big a threat as the US government made it out to be
-He eventually overcame his racism toward the Japanese
-He thought that the US waited too long to enter into WWII

In today's class, you are going to choose one of the following Seuss cartoons. You will answer the following questions about this cartoon in a blog entry on your class blogs. (I've changed the title of your blogs from "book review blogs" to "student blogs".)

Choice 1

Choice 2

Choice 3

Choice 4

Choice 5

Questions:

1. What is the message in this cartoon?
2. What are the important images in this cartoon?
3. Look up any words/ references to people you don't understand and give the definition.
4. What opinion does this cartoon show?

Make sure to include the cartoon in your blog post.

After you all finish your analysis of your cartoon, you are going to create your own political cartoon based on Night. I've created a sample using Comic Life and I've posted it in this blog entry for you to see. You may have to click on it to read it (you should be able to find Comic Life in your applications.) You may work in pairs to create your own cartoon or you may work alone. Email your cartoon to me as an attachment with the name of your partner. MAKE SURE TO SAVE YOUR CARTOON UNDER YOUR STUDENT SPACE IN CASE I CANNOT OPEN IT! Some suggestions to help you in your cartoon creation:

Use images from google
Come up with a simple message-- Don't make it too complicated
Topics: the camps, the train, the food, the "uniforms", the guns, the crematoriums, the separation of families, "Work Will Set You Free", the Nazi symbol, the Jewish Star of David, the barbed wire, etc.

Have fun with this lesson and show me your best work. I WILL be grading you on your blog post and on your cartoon. See you on Thursday!

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