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Behind the lines

Investigating political cartoons from 2003

Behind the Lines front page of the unit of work

Curriculum areas: Australian history, media, English, arts

Years: 8–12

Key curriculum links: Time, Continuity and Change; Culture; Natural and Social Systems; Investigation, Communication and Participation.

Linked to the National Museum's 2003 political cartooning competition and the exhibition, Behind the Lines, this unit of work asks students to examine and analyse a number of political cartoons by learning how to 'read' cartoons.

The student activities for this unit include the following topics:

  • What do cartoonists do?
  • Representing an issue
  • Representing leaders
  • Representing political institutions: the Governor-General
  • Representing foreign policy: the Australian-American alliance
  • Representing a difficult case: the Bali bombing
  • The target
  • Making judgements about cartoons