Tag Archive for precis

Weekend Pop Culture: Thanksgiving


It’s the most wonderful time of the year.  Regardless of what anyone says, nothing tops Thanksgiving.  Nothing.  In light of the holiday this coming week it seemed appropriate to pull some Thanksgiving related materials for you to use in class.  We’ll even throw in some Black Friday material too.

Thanksgiving Political Cartoons

We posted on image analysis during the month of September.  Treat political cartoons similarly.  The National Archives has a ready to use cartoon analysis form. Here are some general ideas for political cartoons:

  • Give students choice.  It’s hard to guarantee similar knowledge base from all students so offer a range of topics.
  • Have students consider political cartoons in the following categories:
    • Format: Describe the background/foreground and speak to simplicity/complexity.
    • Point of view: Character appearance? Nice/kind or ugly/grotesque?
    • Text: How do labels/speech (balloons/captions) convey ideas?
    • Purpose: Serious message or Entertainment?

Some Thanksgiving Cartoon Resources:

“The GOP run amok” by John Cole

The Thanksgiving Deficit Duel” by Daryl Cagle

“Occupy Plymouth Rock” by Rick McKee

The Cagle Post Thanksgiving 2011 by varied cartoonists


The Week and The Cagle Post are both great resources for political cartoons for any “occasion.”  You may even choose to have students construct a precis paragraph over a cartoon or series of cartoons to synthesize viewing, discussion and writing.

Check back tomorrow for articles, blog posts and infographics!

Novel & Unit Projects: Day Two


 I find it helps to organize books and units around one “principle.”  This principle will be modeled and practiced throughout the entirety of the unit from a variety of angles.  It’s always my goal to then have students “produce” that skill on their own or in small groups by the end of our study.  Today I’ll provide two different approaches. The options for today all focus on culminating activities that measure writing ability.

Idea #1

It seems to me that many of the books we give our students are meta “texts.”  Novels like To Kill a Mockingbird, All the King’s Men, even The Scarlet Letter include a series of speeches, sermons or courtroom arguments that have their own “life.”   Books that include other “texts” within them offer a range of opportunities for end projects.

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