Editorial Cartoons: A Conclusion

This is the final lesson in the series "Using Editorial Cartoons to Teach Social Justice."
Grade Level


Activities will help students

  • understand strategies used in editorial cartoons
  • create an editorial cartoon that focuses on a social justice issue

This is the final lesson in the series "Using Editorial Cartoons to Teach Social Justice."



This is the final lesson in the editorial cartoon series. Preceding lessons explored a variety of social justice issues and the techniques that editorial cartoonists use to comment on such issues. In this final activity, students have a chance to use what they’ve learned by creating their own editorial cartoon about a social justice issue.



1. As a class, brainstorm social justice topics that you feel strongly about. Write the topics on chart paper. Once you have a good list, post it so that you can refer to it.

2. Choose one of the social justice topics as the focus of your editorial cartoon. Read about the topic to get more information and to spark your thinking about what you want to “say” or express in your cartoon.

3. Then think about how to say what you want to say. Review the components of editorial cartoons (words and images) and the editorial cartoon strategies that you have studied. You might want to write definitions for the following terms, or discuss the definitions as a class.

4. In a small group, share your cartoon ideas. Ask each other questions to clarify your thinking. Give each other feedback and ideas.

5. Make your editorial cartoon. If you don’t want to do the drawing yourself, use images you download from the Internet or cut out of magazines. Post your cartoons around the classroom.

6. When you look at a different cartoon, write feedback on a sticky note and post it on the wall near the cartoon. Remember that feedback should be helpful. Start by saying what you like about the cartoon. Then frame suggestions with phrases like “This could be even better if …” or “Another way to do this would be …” or “I wonder how the message would change if …”