Subject: Social Studies

Lesson Length: 60 - 65 mins

Topic: Age of Imperialism

Grade Level: 7

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will learn about the impact imperialism had on indigenous peoples and cultures from around the world.

Know Before You Start: It’s helpful for students to have an understanding of which countries were major players during the Age of Imperialism. Being able to place these imperialistic countries geographically along with the countries they were intending to control is also beneficial. Terms to know: imperialism, colony, cultural diffusion, nationalism.


  • Read and discuss the sample comic.
    • Who is Mr. Europe?
    • What does “serving the continent on a platter mean?”
  • Show students two or more political cartoons. 
  • Discuss the meaning of each and how they arrived at their interpretation.


  • Using the sample comic as a guide, have students create a one-panel political cartoon. 
  • The political cartoon should illustrate imperialism as European countries began to expand into new territories. 
  • Students can choose the point of view their cartoon will give voice to, e.g., native peoples or colonizers.


  • Have students post their political cartoons on a map of the world in the countries or territories that were being taken over. This can be done in print or digitally.
  • Set up a gallery walk for students to view the cartoons and their locations. 
  • This is a good time to discuss the different perspectives people had during the Age of Imperialism.


  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature.
  • Allow students to use the voiceover feature to read their comics aloud.
  • Allow students to work in pairs or groups as needed.


  • Comic to print or display

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