Drake seventh graders share ideas through editorial cartoons

Topics range from politics, to environmental issues and bullying

Posted 4/24/19

Topics from political controversies to environmental issues and bullying were chosen by seventh-grade students at Drake Middle School in Arvada as they learned to express themselves through the art …

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Drake seventh graders share ideas through editorial cartoons

Topics range from politics, to environmental issues and bullying

Posted

Topics from political controversies to environmental issues and bullying were chosen by seventh-grade students at Drake Middle School in Arvada as they learned to express themselves through the art of editorial cartoons.

After learning about the different elements of an editorial cartoon in social studies, they set out to make their own.

“I keep looking for ways to do authentic learning — make it interesting,” said Carine Lockwood, seventh-grade teacher at Drake. “Learning should be interesting and fun. When it’s fun and interesting, sometimes they don’t know they’re learning.”

For student Madison Morgan, the hardest part of the project was coming up with the overall idea.

“I didn’t want to do something too political,” she said.

Eventually, she settled on an image of a donkey kicking down a brick wall while an elephant stands by with the caption, “Will they ever agree?”

“I’ve never really paid too much attention to politics,” Morgan said. “But I see the number of arguments between the two parties and how we interact with other countries. I wanted to bring into awareness the different views, and how those views can change how we interact with each other.”

Through the project, Rhiannon Danborn, learned how bias can affect the perception of the person viewing an editorial. When creating her own cartoon she used that bias to create a statement on environmental issues and climate change deniers.

“One of the things I’m very passionate about is the environment and specifically climate change,” Danborn said. “One of the things that struck me as ironic was the statements of our own president, the person in that position of power that can really change things and help us move forward.”

For her cartoon, Danborn included things President Donald Trump has said in relation to climate change, including his tweets and swirled them around a melting earth.

“I feel that the issue of climate change will fall to my generation,” Danborn said. “My children and grandchildren will really feel the effects of this.”

In her cartoon Madison Young focused on the effects of bullying.

“I think that bullying and suicide is starting to become more and more of a problem,” Young said. “So I wanted to show the perspective that a bully, they might not think they are doing that much, but if they cause someone to do something like commit suicide, they’re really regretting it.”

Young’s editorial shows a student being bullies and then his absence a year later with the bully asking, “Is there an undo button?”

All seventh grade students at Drake participated in this curriculum of learning about and creating their own editorials.

Lockwood said one of the most interesting aspects of the project was to see students share their drawings and ideas with others.

“A lot of the editorials were against Trump, but I have a few students who are very pro-Trump,” Lockwood said. “So it was interesting to see the students share their ideas without arguing.”

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