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ERIC Number: EJ765172
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Aug
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Teaching America's GAPE (or Any Other Period) with Political Cartoons: A Systematic Approach to Primary Source Analysis
Thomas, Samuel J.
History Teacher, v37 n4 p425-446 Aug 2004
In United States history, the GAPE or Gilded Age and Progressive Era, roughly the last third of the nineteenth and first two decades of the twentieth centuries, constitutes one of the most formative and complex of periods, a time that historians designate as the birth of the United States. Many high school students and undergraduates find this period, as they do other discrete blocks of historical time, hard to grasp and frustrating to analyze. Part of their difficulty is some of the baggage they bring to their classes, including the surprisingly enduring myth that history is, more or less, "one damn fact after another." In this article, the author describes how he used political cartoons in his lectures and discussions. He relates that he had particularly successful experiences in seminars where interaction and discussion rule, and where the cartoons of the GAPE are the core of the sources. He also describes the many bonuses of employing cartoons in history lessons. In this article, the author also presents a "Teaching Guide," which is a mix of narrative and outline that demonstrates a systematic approach to cartoon analysis. Within the "Guide" is a modeling procedure that teachers may implement as a series of in-class exercises and as part of their students' homework assignments. (Contains 7 notes and annotated bibliography of primary and secondary sources.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States