January 28, 2022: American Perspectives OPTIC Analysis

Good morning to my first period and good afternoon to my fourth! Thank you all for being on your best behavior while I am away today 🙂 Please read the post below in its entirety, and be sure to view my example below the first cartoon so you can get an idea of the content and depth of analysis I am looking for. You and your group may use the cartoons below, or go out in the hallway (hang right) for the same cartoons, printed. It’s up to you!

Both analyses are due in the box at the end of the class period, so please be sure to work diligently! Have a WONDERFUL weekend and be sure to give your classmates a high-five as you leave 🙂 

Warm-up: Ditloid Puzzles #2 

Please see below for some hints on your ditloid puzzles! After ~15 minutes, the sub will go over the correct answers with you.

  1. There’s 13 so the “B” can eat one
  2. Running
  3. You can find tons of these in Vegas casinos
  4. Religious symbol
  5. Music
  6. Geometry
  7. Basketball
  8. Large court cases have these
  9. A common move in a specific board game
  10. You may find one crawling through your home

Today, you will complete an OPTIC analysis on two pieces of visual text. Analyzing a visual text means that whatever you’re analyzing is a visual medium – think photographs, political cartoons, book covers, paintings, sculptures, posters, and even TV, movies, and documentaries.

For the purposes of your assignment, please choose two of the visual texts below. Use the guiding questions within your graphic organizer to answer each question in the corresponding boxes of the OPTIC. You will complete one cartoon analysis with your table group, and another cartoon analysis on your own. (For the group one, only one sheet needs to be submitted, but please make sure everyone’s name is on it!)

Overview: When you look at the cartoon, what is the first impression you receive? What do you think is happening in this cartoon?

Parts: ​What are the different parts or pieces of this cartoon? Break the cartoon into small pieces using artistic terms to explain what you see. This is the only section where you can use bullet points rather than complete sentences.

Theme: What is the theme of this cartoon? What is the message that is being conveyed through the visual?  What is the artist trying to “tell” you about their piece?  Be very specific with your explanation.

Interrelationships: How do all of the pieces in the cartoon relate to each other? What is the relationship between the central figures and the foreground/ background? What symbolism is present? What is the overall tone of the cartoon?

Conclusions: When searching for the conclusion of this cartoon, look for the artist’s purpose.  Why was this cartoon designed in this way?  Be specific.

Political Cartoon Options (please number on your paper):


1. by Mike Luckovich — EXAMPLE (You may NOT choose this one!) Click below for Ms. Antonacci’s example!

EXAMPLE OPTIC Graphic Organizer


2. by Steve Greenberg


3. by Monte Wolverton


4. “The American Dream Game” by David Horsey


5. by Ed Stein (hint: consider what year this cartoon was drawn)


6. “The First Illegal Immigrants” by Andy Singer


7. by Mike Luckovich (Historical context: Trayvon Martin shooting)


8. “Dessert, American Style” by David Horsey

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