Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Political Cartoons: Dr. Seuss & Fahrenheit 451

Even though I am not here in person today, you all are going to work to analyze some political cartoons and create one of your own. The cartoons that you are going to analyze are all from writer/ artist Theodore Geisel, more commonly known as Dr. Seuss. Geisel wrote his children's books under the pen name Sr. Seuss but was, in fact, a famous cartoonist long before he penned any of the children's books we loved as children. The comics you're about to see were all drawn and published during WWII.

Here are some other important facts about Geisel's life to help you understand the comics you're about to see:

-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

Today, you're going to choose one comic to look at and analyze. You'll analyze the comic by answering the following questions about your comic:

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?
5. In what ways does the content and/ or message of this cartoon relate to Fahrenheit 451? Does it relate to the novel and the film version both or just one? How?

Here are your choices:

Choice 1

Choice 2

Choice 3

Choice 4

Choice 5

Choice 6

Choice 7

Once you've chosen your comic, please look at it closely. Answer the questions I asked of you in the above section. Please send me an email with your answers and number of the comic you chose. We will be reviewing your choices and your answers when I return on Thursday.

Once you are done answering these questions, I want you to break up into groups of TWO (and I really mean TWO--unless there's an uneven number, then we may have one group of three) to create your own comic based on Fahrenheit 451.

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: book burnings, pills, the "Family", the Mechanical Hound, the strained relationships, lack of communication, the controlling government, the Seashell, the disappearance of Clarisse, Montag's struggle between right and wrong, etc.

Have fun with this lesson and show me your best work. I WILL be grading you on the analysis of a Dr. Seuss cartoon and on your own cartoon. See you on Thursday!

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