Toon in to the Web

Professional Cartoonists Index a New Resource for Teachers in all Disciplines

A new web site, The Professional Cartoonists Index features a huge collection of current, updating editorial cartoons from newspapers around the country. The site includes lesson plans for using the cartoons as a teaching tool in Social Sciences, Art, Journalism and English from elementary through high school levels.

A comprehensive teachers' guide takes teachers step by step through the site so they can use it with their classes to study everything from current events, politics and government to symbolism, satire, metaphor and irony. The guide will be constantly updated and expanded

The site is maintained by Daryl Cagle, a syndicated cartoonist; the teachers' guide was developed by Daryl's wife, Peg, a teacher at Lawrence Middle School in Los Angeles. The site includes current, up-to-date cartoons from thirty of the best editorial cartoonists in the world, like Pulitzer Prize winners Jeff MacNelly, Jim Borgman, Mike Luckovich, Signe Wilkinson and Mike Peters.

The most compelling use of editorial cartoons is to interest students in discussions of current events. The lesson plans include games like scavenger hunts, tic tac toe and cartoon bingo, which engage students as they explore and interpret the symbolism in cartoons. The teachers' guide includes all necessary pages to print out as student handouts. English and Social Science teachers, who typically make the least use of their school's computer labs, can take advantage of this resource. There is no cost. No catch. The site is kid safe and RASCi rated.

KAIROS Kairos: A Journal for Teachers of Writing in Webbed Environments.
Vol. 2 No. 2 Fall 1997