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The Red Scare

Ohio Content Standards: Grade 10, History 9-A

Duration of Lesson: 1-2 Class Periods

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will Understand issues of Nativism and Protectionism in
    early 20th Century America.
  • Students will analyze the roots of anti-immigrant movements in
    the Post-World War One United States.
  • Students will understand the differences between capitalism and

Summary: Using political cartoons students will
become familiar with the issues of nativism and protectionism, specifically in
regard to the era of the Red Scare.

Materials needed:


Terms to Know:

  • I.W.W
  • Bolshevik
  • Melting Pot


  • Anarchy


  • Capitalism
  • Socialism

Instructional Steps:

  1. Divide the students into three
    topical groups. Assign each group one of the following topics: Stereotype,
    Symbol, or Caricature.
  2. Distribute copies of the
    cartoons to each member of the topical group so all cartoons are in use for
    each group. (example: Stereotype group will have all cartoons, as will Symbol,
  3. Distribute Cartoon Analysis
    Worksheet to each student.
  4. Students are to find examples
    of their assigned topic using each of the cartoons present in their group and
    fill in the appropriate space on the worksheet in Part I. (5-10 minutes)
  5. Students are to then arrange
    themselves in a group according to their individual cartoon, thus forming 6-8
    new groups centered on one specific cartoon.
  6. Students are to complete
    Worksheet Part II using information from other members of their group.(5-10
  7. Individual groups will briefly
    present analysis of their cartoon to the class (Note: an overhead copy of the
    cartoon will expedite this process)

Post-Assessment Activity: As a class, students will
answer and discuss the remaining questions (Part III) on Cartoon Analysis

Extension Activities:

  • Each student will create a T-chart in which the student
    compares and contrasts immigration policies of the United States as they have developed from early America (1760) to the present. The charts should
    include open shores, quota systems, illegal immigration, and national
  • Have students write an essay analyzing the quote from the
    Statue of Liberty in relation to the Red Scare and the immigration policy
    of the United States.

"We Can’t Digest the Scum"

"The World Had Better Watch This Insect"


"The Socialist (to the Democratic Donkey)—‘You’re Stealing My Props! Why Not Take this Also?"

"Boiling Over"

"Hell’s Masterpiece"

"The Source"