Propaganda has come to mean the ideas spread by someone (usually an organized group) for the purpose of influencing people. Since it seems to be everywhere, it is important that students be able to identify those techniques that influence our beliefs and behavior. Recognizing propaganda takes critical thinking, and this unit provides background and practice in the skill.
PROPAGANDA - student handout
This student handout is an information sheet defining and discussing propaganda, good and bad. It contains details of eleven different techniques used in creating propaganda along with examples of each.
PROPAGANDA - graphic organizer
The graphic organizer should be distributed with the student handout. It allows them to record notes on the techniques used in propaganda.
HOW TO SELL WATER
The two-page worksheet, How To Sell Water, is a brainstorming activity which asks students to suggest several different ways they might sell water to the public. This can be done with the class as a whole. Ask the class to use their notes on propaganda to imagine an ad campaign in which they entice the public to buy their water. The handout could be used as an overhead with the teacher recording the class suggestions. It would then also be distributed to the students who would copy the suggestions on their handout. Emphasize the details necessary to make the technique obvious.
The activity could also be done in small groups with the whole class suggesting only one technique which all could copy. The small groups would then be responsible for thinking of 4 extra techniques with detailed explanation.
In both cases the last two questions should be answered independently. A Follow-up activity might include choosing one of the suggestions and creating a print and picture ad of the idea.
IDENTIFY THE TECHNIQUE
This two-page worksheet assesses a student’s ability to recognize the elements of propaganda and identify the techniques used in creating the effect. The exercise should be done independently. Be sure the students understand they must include specific details from the selection which point to the technique. Be aware that more than one answer is possible for some of the selections.
A follow-up activity would ask them to find a different example from the newspaper, magazine or internet and make a copy or cut out the example. They would then attach it to a sheet of paper and label the technique along with an explanation.
Another handy tool in the What's That? series from CK Teaching Aids providing quick lessons on common Literature and Social Studies topic. You may be specially interested in:
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