Cartoon-Truth or Tale

Subject: Multicultural/Social Studies/Art

Grade Levels: 6 through 12


Sunshine State Standards:

View all Sunshine State Standards


Procedure: Poster analysis

Day One

Nazi Propaganda Illustrations

National Archives and Records Administration:Poster Analysis Worksheet

  1. What are the main colors used in the poster?
  2. What symbols (if any) are used in the poster?
  3. If a symbol is used, is it
    1. clear (easy to interpret)?
    2. memorable?
    3. dramatic?
  4. Are the messages in the poster primarily visual, verbal, or both?
  5. Who do you think is the intended audience for the poster?
  6. Consider the tabloid by Julius Streicher, "Der Stümer," in which a medieval illustration depicts ritualistic murder of children, a medieval antisemitic myth. What irony can you identify?
  7. What does the Nazi Government hope the audience will do?
  8. What Nazi purpose(s) is served by the tabloid?
  9. Go to the antisemitic cartoon by Seppla (Josef Plank) - an octopus with a Star of David over its head has its tentacles encompassing the globe. Compare this imagery with the song - "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands." Is there a correlation?
  10. The most effective posters use symbols that are unusual, simple, and direct. Is this an effective poster?

Day Two



Middle School Discussion

  1. Which of the objects on your list are symbols?
  2. What do you think each symbol means?
  3. Which words or phrases in the cartoon appear to be the most significant? Why do you think so?
  4. List adjectives that describe the emotions portrayed in the cartoon.

High School Discussion

  1. Describe the action taking place in the cartoon.
  2. Explain how the words in the cartoon clarify the symbols.
  3. Explain the message of the cartoon.
  4. What special interest groups would agree/disagree with the cartoon's message? Why?

Compare and contrast three cartoons for:

Day Three

Day Four

Day Five


The quality of the student's work can be assessed by :