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-to-three 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 work alone, in pairs or small groups.
  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature.


  • Comic to print or display: Comic.

Suggested Content Pack(s):