Friday, June 25, 2010

Cartoons in classrooms

Ever though of teaching Cartoons in Classrooms? Especially in an Indian environment where children hardly would be interested in Political cartoons. So, what about learning on Educational Cartoons? Or just about using cartoons to analyze critical thinking activities and know about current affairs. As I hear, Digital Whiteboards are paving its way in classrooms, it is far way thought to introduce activities that power the brain and flow juices of educational creativity to enhance learning abilities.

Teachers and parents tend to ignore Cartoons while reading print newspapers and hardly encourage children to read the cartoon captions. I have held a class on 'Cartoon Learning' and got an amazing response with the 'Cartoon Project.' I have used the Cartoons as Critical thinking skill as well as a creative writing skills. I copy the cartoons to the power point slides and students visualize and discuss on the same. This focus on awareness, knowing the current happening topics and even act as Discussion starters and writing prompts.

Follow these tips while showing the cartoons:
1. What is the purpose?
2. What message it try to convey?
3. Debate on the topic
4. Paste cartoon clips in their scrap
5. Let them jot down the notings
6. Let the children communicate their ideas through art
7. Find opinions and reactions

As primary school children are not easy with political cartoons, I have tried using Educational cartoons, humor and focused on their favorite comic characters. One being Popeye and the other Archie, Betty, Jug head and Veronica. Children have fun reading the comic books and love to create their own cartoon clip writing their own creative message. Themes like 'Go Green' (Popeye and the sea) and 'No junk food' (Jug head eating junk) with their own remarks as they paste the characters in their 'Scrap books or call it, Spark Spiral Note books.' Kids love to use the word balloons in various shapes and even use stickers in case they are not good in drawing or in the mood to do so. Giving a free hand in learning is sometimes a blessing as we get willingness to participate and the results are even better.

Btw, the only one Political Cartoon that kids loved in my classroom was on the CM Narendra Modi as they've been great fan of this leader. They were keen to observe the message of the Cartoonist on him! In Political Cartoons, children need to be interested and even know the characters. And for this, it is first important to Teach kids about Politics and elections !

Well, explore the Literature Cartoons esp. Shakespeare characters here on Harp Week. It provides a revealing glimpse into the nineteenth-century world of Thomas Nast and Harper’s Weekly, and the influence that William Shakespeare had on it.

Also explore Popeye Cartoon Video and find the Lyrics - You can use this for classroom activity for Cartoon Project. Also find Dan Rosandich's Educational Cartoon and come back again to find a new one for a change. Stay tuned to Cartoon Kids Resources for more and follow other Resources page too.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

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