Big Civics Ideas Through Political Cartoons

Lesson Duration

Florida Joint Center for Citizenship

How do the political cartoons illustrate big civics ideas?

This activity can be used to introduce big civics concepts or as a review prior to the end-of-course civics assessment.


  • identify the goals and purposes of government as set forth in the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution.
  • evaluate the impact political parties have on society, government, or the political system.
  • recognize the structure of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.
  • compare the roles and responsibilities of the three branches of the federal government.
  • identify the general powers described in Articles I, II, and III of the U.S. Constitution.
  • examine the processes of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government.
  • cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).

Graphic Organizer 1: Congress and the Constitution

Graphic Organizer 2: Congress, The Elected, Representative Branch of Government

Graphic Organizer 3: Congress: Making Laws for the Nation

Graphic Organizer 4: Congress and the President

Graphic Organizer 5: Political Parties

Graphic Organizer 6: A Member’s Job: Representing the People and the States


Students Investigating Primary Sources (SIPS) is a K-12 collection of brief introductory mini-lessons centered on particular topics and primary sources.



The Florida Joint Center for Citizenship is a partnership between the Lou Frey Institute of Politics and Government at the University of Central Florida and the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida.