Economic cartoons make a humorous comment about something in the economy of concern (usually of great concern) to the people who have to tolerate economic conditions. Humor can relieve some of the stress that people feel when they must endure unpleasant economic situations such as rapidly rising gasoline prices, interest rates, or job layoffs.


This project will allow the student to not only appreciate humor, but also to understand economic concepts more deeply.




1.  Locate five (5) economic cartoons, each on a different economic topic. A textbook Table of Contents will list many topics.


2.  Three (3) of the cartoons must be about economic ideas that the class has studied.


3.  Find appropriate cartoons online or in library books.


4.  Copy or draw each cartoon, including its caption, if one exists. Magnify or reduce any cartoon that is too small/large.


5.  Copy the artist's name and the source of the cartoon (where and what company published it.)


6.  Cartoons must be at least 3x4 in size, and not larger than 5x6. This requirement will permit the cartoons to be mounted on a page, but will leave enough space for your analysis and explanation.


7.  Use a glue stick to neatly attach cartoons to the pages of your report if they are not already copied onto a page.


8.  The pages the cartoons are displayed on may be any color or design that does not distract from the cartoon and your written work.


Analyze and Explain the Cartoon

Some cartoons can be quite challenging to understand. It may be a good idea to find a replacement cartoon that you immediately are drawn to and that you understand and enjoy. For each cartoon, do the following:


1.  Explain what event or issue inspired the cartoon.


2.  Are there any symbols in the cartoon? What are they and what does each represent?


3.  Are there any real people in the cartoon? Who are they and how do you know?


4.  Explain the economic point(s) made in the cartoon. What in the cartoon tells you that this is the point? Underline any economic terms (vocabulary words) that appear in your explanation.


5.  Re-write the caption or create a caption if none exists.


6.  What is the cartoonist 's opinion about the topic? What in the cartoon suggests that this is the author’s opinion.


7.  Do you agree or disagree with the cartoonist’s opinion? Explain your answer.


Place the explanations above under each cartoon.

Type or artistically print your explanations.

Explanations may be presented in a creative manner, but creative answers are not required.


Present Your Favorite Cartoon to the Class


Make an overhead of the cartoon and explain its economic meaning to the class in one minute.




1.   Large libraries have a nice array of cartoon collections. Look for books by these cartoonists (and many more):


Michael Ramirez, Jeff MacNelly, David Horsey, Wait Handelsman, Paul Conrad, Dick Locher, Don Wright, Mike Luckovich, Steve Breen, Signe Wilkinson, Dale Cagle, and Mike Peters


2.  Some online resources that will lead you directly to economic cartoons: 11.html



To meet the standard for the assignment, your presentation must show the following:


1.  Clear, correct connection to a current or historical event.


2.  Half or more of the symbolism and other representatives in the cartoon are identified and correctly described.


3.  Economics * and vocabulary correctly described and used.


4.  Demonstrates understanding of the cartoonists point and perspective.


5.  Presentation conveys points 1-4 and explains why you draw those conclusions.