One of my favorite things about being a teacher is when students are engaged, talking, creating, and enjoying the moments of the day. I've always been a doodler and enjoyed making little drawings or sketches in my notebooks when I was in school (usually when I probably should have been listening). This Revolutionary War caricature activity is one where even my most reluctant students would take part in. Why? Because you don't have to be a skilled artist because all you have to do is trace the body, eyes, ears, mouth, nose, hat, etc... I also think they participate because it's fun to see the caricature start to appear!
Sometimes I'll start the first day of school having students create a caricature that will be displayed in the hallway. That way at each student I teach will have something that is displayed, which makes it so they start out the year with something they've created being part of the school they go to. Might seem silly, but when there's 150 caricatures up on the wall students want to show their friends which one they made. You'll be guaranteed to hear students giving compliments to one another, which is the trick to get them talking to one another - especially to those who they normally don't interact with.
Watch the video below to see how easy it is to make one:
I've also made caricature packets to make Civil War Caricatures and one that honors the branches of the United States military. I've used the latter as an option for students when Veterans Day or Memorial Day was approaching. Some of my students have asked if they could make one for a family member who is currently serving.