“I use Brand X! So should you!” “Don’t be left out! Everybody is going!” Introduce ninth graders to the power of propaganda with a look at two of the most powerful techniques—testimonials and the bandwagon technique. After examining definitions and models, class members craft their own examples of these two techniques. Consider paring the study of propaganda techniques with a reading of Animal Farm.
Sell It with Propaganda
Engage your class in learning about propaganda by asking them to create propaganda! Using Frames software, class groups demonstrate their understanding of propaganda techniques by designing a new product, creating a commercial to sell their product, and then sharing their commercials with the whole class. Wrap by sharing the videos and discussing the techniques each group used. If video software is unavailable to you, consider that the product development, script, and story board make up the heart of the project.
Sixth graders locate examples of persuasive writing. In this persuasive writing lesson students work in a groups to identify and analyze the use of propaganda techniques. Students use newspapers to find editorials, or advertisements, etc. Examples are labeled and displayed in class.
Determining Author's Point of View: The Sneeches
Determine the author's point of view in a text. Young readers read Dr. Seuss' The Sneeches and identify the author's purpose in the story. They identify persuasive techniques in writing, asking and answering questions to better comprehend the text. As homework, they write about a propaganda technique they found. Two handouts are included.
The Mississippi Bubble: Keep it Alive with Propaganda
Learners define propaganda and investigate the different propaganda techniques. They use propaganda techniques when writing a letter or preparing a commercial.
Middle and high schoolers examine the uses of propaganda during the Nazi era. Using examples of propaganda used by Hitler, they discuss how it changed the thinking and ideas of people exposed to it. In groups, they identify how and why propaganda is used today.
Students identify five propaganda techniques used in advertisements, then write their own ads using propaganda techniques that influence others to buy their products. They videotape their commercials, and write about recognizing propaganda.
CongressLink Lesson Plan: Using Political Propaganda During Elections
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.
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.
How do I look to you?
Present propaganda to your class with the posters and pamphlet provided here. Learners start out by creating their own advertisements and discuss as a class how they might add propaganda into their work. Next, small groups analyze posters about child nutrition and fill out an analysis worksheet. Conduct a class discussion on the pamphlet and then send your pupils off to complete one of the final assessment options detailed here. Class members can create their own posters or pamphlets!
Advanced 2: Understanding Search Results
Effective researchers use a variety of techniques to find what they need online. Pupils who complete the activities listed here should already have an arsenal of strategies for searching. They will learn about and practice two new strategies, generalization and specialization, reflecting on their work by composing a comment for Dan Russell's SearchReSearch blog. A presentation is included to help lead class members through these different search processes.
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- Kristen D., 1st year teacher
- Houston, TX