Welcome, Indiana librarians!


This web page shows how programs presented by Angola, IN, artist/writer Lee P. Sauer can be used to fulfill Indiana Academic Standards. Although by no means comprehensive, this information can aid in reporting to suppliers of grants, such as the Dekko Foundation, how a program given at your library teaches standards set by the state.


The organization is simple. An IAS section is quoted, then followed by specific ways in which that standard is supported by one or more of Sauer’s programs. For simplicity sake, only standards for grade 5 are included here, but information in the programs can be adapted to any grade level.


Sauer’s programs, identified only by title in the guide below, are:


Get in Shape: Draw cartoons Instruction in basic drawing for elementary and middle school children

Stories to Draw On Instruction in writing and illustrating stories for elementary and middle school children

The History of Political Cartooning A chalk talk on political cartoons upper elementary, middle school and high school students

A Cartoon History A chalk talk on how cartoons developed from cave drawings to the "Yellow Kid" for upper elementary, middle school and high school students


For more information, visit Sauer’s website at www.wedrawsmiles.com, or contact the artist directly at wedrawsmiles@yahoo.com or (260) 665-1988.




An Indiana Academic Standard guide

to the programs of Lee P. Sauer



AC category: English/language arts


The student will be able to . . .


5.4.1 Discuss ideas for writing, keep a list or notebook of ideas, and use graphic organizers to plan writing.


5.4.2 Write stories with multiple paragraphs that develop a situation or plot, describe the setting, and include an ending.


5.4.8 Review, evaluate, and revise writing for meaning and clarity.


5.4.9 Proofread one’s own writing, as well as that of others, using an editing checklist or set of rules, with specific examples of corrections of specific errors.


5.4.10 Edit and revise writing to improve meaning and focus through adding, deleting, combining, clarifying, and rearranging words and sentences.


5.5.1 Write narratives (stories) that:

  • establish a plot, point of view, setting, and conflict.
  • show, rather than tell, the events of the story.

5.7.9  Deliver narrative (story) presentations that:

  • establish a situation, plot, point of view, and setting with descriptive words and phrases.
  • show, rather than tell, the listener what happens.


Lee P. Sauer Program: Stories to Draw On


This program—originally developed for schools’ Young Authors programs—gives hints on generating ideas for stories through who (characters), what (plot) and where (setting). The writer/artist discusses the importance of editing, particularly focusing on spelling, grammar and punctuation.






IAC category: Social Studies


The student will be able to . . .


5.1.6 Explain the religious, political, and economic reasons for movement of people from Europe to the Americas and describe the impact of exploration and settlement by Europeans on American Indians.


5.1.16 Explain why the United States Constitution was created in 1787 and how it established a stronger union among the original 13 states. Identify people who were involved in its development.


5.1.21 Examine an historical narrative about an issue of the time and distinguish between statements of opinion and those that are factually grounded.


5.5.4 Compare significant examples of visual arts, crafts, music, architecture, and literature from early United States history and illustrate how each reflects the times and cultural background of the historical period.


5.2.10 Examine ways by which citizens may effectively voice opinions, monitor government, and bring about change in government and the public agenda, including voting and participation in the election process.


5.5.5 Analyze traditional arts, including folk tales and narratives that depict the experiences of ethnic, racial, and religious groups in different regions of the United States.



Lee P. Sauer program: The History of Political Cartooning


This program traces political cartooning back to the Reformation, when a convergence of social, political, economic and religious forces brought about the end of the old Roman Empire, stimulated the Renaissance, bred inventions such as the moveable type printing press, re-emphasized education, and brought about the search for religious freedom that led to American immigration.


The program discusses the very first American political cartoon. Drawn by Founding Father Benjamin Franklin and appearing in 1754, the simple cartoon shows a severed snake with a caption that says, “Join, or Die!” The snake is cut into eight pieces, one for each colony at that time. A superstition of that period said that a severed snake would come back to life if the pieces were put together before sunset. Franklin’s simple drawing had meaning, urgency and provided foreshadowing of the American Revolution.


The program discusses political cartoonist Thomas Nast and his influence, both during the Civil War and the 1870’s battle for political power in New York City. Abraham Lincoln called Nast his greatest recruiting sergeant and the artist’s campaign against Tammany Hall and Boss Tweed helped bring down the powerful political machine. Nast’s drawings could be understood by illiterate immigrants. Tweed didn’t care about newspaper reports, but he wanted to stop “them damn pictures.”






IAC category: Additional Content Areas (Music/Visual Arts)


The student will be able to . . .


5.1.1 Identify the relationship between a work of art and the geography and characteristics of the culture, and identify where, when, why, and by whom the work was made (Focus: North America).


5.1.2 Identify and compare works of art and artifacts with similar functions.


5.1.3 Identify themes and symbols used in works of art and artifacts throughout history that portray universal ideas and beliefs.


5.2.1 Identify and be familiar with a range of selected works of art identifying artists, culture, style, and period.


5.2.2 Identify distinguishing characteristics of style in individual artists’ work and art movements.


5.2.3 Begin to identify works of art and artifacts from major periods or movements of Western art and place on a chronological time line.


5.3.2 Construct meaning in the work based on personal response, properties found in the work, and background information on the context of the work.


5.4.2 Apply criteria based on properties found in the work and research from the historical context of the work to make informed judgments.


5.5.2 Identify and analyze a variety of well reasoned points of view on aesthetic issues (censorship, plagiarism) and develop a personal point of view.


5.6.1 Identify artwork made from the artist’s philosophy that art is at its best when it moves people to act for the betterment of society (instrumentalism).


5.7.3 Generate symbols and subject matter and borrow ideas from an artist’s work in order to communicate ideas.


5.11.1 Identify the roles of artists and critics in the community.



Lee P. Sauer program: The History of Political Cartooning


The political cartooning program discusses how drawings have always been democratic in nature, beginning as appeals to an emerging middle class and illiterate serfs in opposition to a corrupt Roman Catholic Church. Cartoons have swayed public opinion from The Reformation, through the American Revolution, and past the Civil War. Today, an ongoing debate on the role of political cartoons is taking place. What is the cartoons’ role? Entertainment? Stimulating debate? Shaping society? Several attempts to silence artists have been made, including legislation making political cartoons illegal. In their most powerful forms, political cartoons have literally helped shape society.


The work of Thomas Nast is dealt with in great enough detail that students could identify his work and where he fits in a timeline. Nast provided important cartoon symbols that are still in use today: the Republican elephant, the Democratic donkey, and the modern version of Santa Claus.


Lee P. Sauer program: A Cartoon History


This program discusses the development of cartoons from 15,000 BC to present. It takes a look at French cave art, Egyptian art, Greek and Roman art, Renaissance art, the satirical magazines of the 1800s, and the development of comic strips in the late 1800s. It shows how inventions such as the moveable type printing press, wood block printing, engraving, and a technique for printing yellow ink affected cartoon development. It discusses the origination of the terms “cartoon” and “caricature.” Although the cartoon art form has aimed mainly at entertaining its readers, it has spawned recurring characters with personalities who have had a large impact on society.






IAC category: Additional Content Areas (Integrated Studies)


The student will be able to . . .


5.13.1 Compare characteristics of a theme, historical period, or event through the multiple perspectives of different disciplines.



Lee P. Sauer programs: The History of Political Cartooning and A Cartoon History

See descriptions in above section.






IAC category: Additional Content Areas (Music/Visual Arts)


The student will be able to . . .


5.7.1 Demonstrate refined observational skills through accurate rendering of representational objects and subject matter from life.


5.8.1 Apply elements (line, shape, form, texture, color, value, and space) and principles (repetition, variety, rhythm, proportion, movement, balance, emphasis, and unity) in work that effectively communicates their ideas.


5.8.2 Identify and discriminate between types of shape (geometric and organic), colors (primary, secondary, complementary, intermediates, neutrals, tints, tones, shades, and values), lines (characteristics, quality), textures (tactile and visual), and space (background, middleground, foreground, placement, perspective, overlap, negative, converging lines positive, size, color), balance (symmetrical, asymmetrical, radial) and the use of proportion, rhythm, variety, repetition, and movement in their work and the works of others.


5.9.2 Identify and control different media, techniques, and processes to effectively communicate ideas, experiences, and stories including:



Media: pencils, colored pencils, markers, chalks, crayons, oil pastels, charcoals

Processes: contour line, rendering, sketching, value, shading, crosshatching,



5.10.1 Demonstrate evidence of reflection, thoughtfulness, and care in selecting ideas and completing work.


5.11.2 Identify various responsibilities of selected careers in art (illustrator, costume and set designer, sculptor, display designer, painter, graphic designer, animator, visual editor).




Lee P. Sauer program: Get in Shape: Draw cartoons

This program teaches basic drawing skills. Students follow along with their own pencils and paper to learn how basic shapes—circles, rectangles and triangles—help an artist simplify drawing. Facial expressions using eyes, eyebrows and mouths allows an artist to create cartoon characters with personality. Whether used for simple entertainment or to illustrate a story, pictures help convey information to the viewer.


Lee P. Sauer program: Stories to Draw On

This program shows how pictures help tell a story. Using who (characters), what (plot) and where (setting), students help the artist create an illustration used as the basis of a story. The program includes a discussion on how books are published, and how writers and illustrators develop careers. At the end, students receive a lesson in basic drawing so they can illustrate their own stories.