Grade Level

Gr. 3;

Document Type

Activities and Labs


Leadership--Study and teaching (Elementary); Caricatures and cartoons; Wit and humor in education;


This document describes a strategy for increasing student leadership and creativity skills through the creation of cartoons. Creating cartoons engages students in divergent thinking and cognitive processes, such as perception, recall, and mental processing. When students create cartoons focused on a particular topic, they are making connections to their already developed schema by representing the idea or concept in a unique way. The cartoons presented in this report were created by an education professor, graduate students, preservice teachers, and third grade students. Many of the cartoons focus on the seven leadership skills articulated in Steven Covey’s “Leader in Me” program. These skills include be proactive; begin with the end in mind; put first things first; think win-win; seek first to understand, then to be understood; and synergize. The seventh leadership habit, which Covey calls sharpen the saw, promotes self-care and health. Supplementary leadership concepts are presented in additional cartoons with the following themes: active development of leadership skills, leaders are creative problem solvers, schools need to promote creativity and problem-solving, leaders should make good decisions, service learning promotes leadership, parents and communities can help, leaders need to be able to express themselves well, the vision of a leader, leaders care about others, persistence in the face of challenges, and confidence is a leadership trait. The Appendix contains 213 full-color leadership-themed cartoons, many of which employ humor, wordplay, and other creative strategies.


Department of Curriculum and Instruction

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