Mr. Cook's 9th Grade Geography students studied the techniques utilized by political cartoonists, including the effective use of analogy, symbolism, and irony. In groups, they analyzed a collection of cartoons about the changing relationship between the United States and Cuba -- following a lesson plan provided by Brown University's Choices Program.
Then, the students created their own original cartoons related to issues in the past or present of the Caribbean region. Most chose to focus on the influence of the United States in the region: the Monroe Doctrine/Roosevelt Corollary, the effort to force democratic reforms in Cuba, and the power of American businesses in the region's history (especially the United Fruit Company, about which they read and analyzed a poem by Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda). One student even contributed an original rap he wrote about these issues!