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Propaganda Teacher Resources
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High schoolers assess persuasive techniques in propaganda. They identify and critique rhetorical devices in primary source documents (sources are not specified, but links to sites that contain various documents are included). Groups make posters and deliver informal presentations detailing examples of persuasive connotation in their document.
When did political propaganda start? How many types of propaganda are there? Kids are asked to analyze the various types of elections and election propaganda that voters see each year at election time. They compose an essay describing each type of propaganda and commonly used propaganda techniques. This is a five-day lesson that includes multiple resource links, standards, and adaptations; overall a great lesson.
Art can express acts of injustice and move society to action. Upper graders analyze contemporary art relating to specific moments in history. They discuss propaganda, anarchy, sociology, and violence as activism. After researching and discussing singular violent acts in the name of social justice, they create a piece that responds to current events.
Students evaluate text and images in a series of WWI posters. In this WWI instructional activity, students complete a worksheet to analyze the primary source poster images and text. Students research news to select a current event or person to create an original propaganda poster using publication software. Students evaluate peer work with a rubric.
Students examine the types of propaganda used throughout World War II. In groups, they view examples of different posters and artwork used to identify the human emotions the government was trying to appeal through. They develop their own PowerPoint presentation to share their ideas with the class and create their own example of artwork propaganda on a current issue they feel passionately about.
How does word choice affect the reading of a text? Compare two headlines that were written about the same event. Is one biased? Discuss how word choice often reveals the author's feelings about a topic. Then look at different techniques used to create propaganda. Where do you see examples of each in the real world? The culminating activity is a news article written about an invented problem.
High schoolers use diagrams and online resources to define and evaluate propaganda. The teaching ideas presented here are useful, but none of the materials or websites referenced in the plan are included. Follow the model, but situate it in the context of your own curriculum and mine web resources to fill in content gaps (i.e. examples of propaganda, lists of persuasive techniques used in propaganda).
What was the true meaning behind WWII propaganda posters? Historians analyze images from the U.S., Great Britain, Nazi Germany, and the Soviet Union, sharing findings in small groups. A poster analysis worksheet and all posters are included as links. Essay prompts are included to synthesize learning and encourage critical thinking about multiple images. Group size can be adjusted, and a final sharing among groups may be helpful to give everyone the full range of images.