Idea for Use in the Classroom

Ask students to define the word “propaganda.” What does it mean to them? Can they give any examples of propaganda? Next, ask how might propaganda be most effective during a war. What does successful propaganda accomplish during a war? Direct students to the infographic. Have them study the propaganda posters from the United States and Germany, and for each, ask: How did each country deal with recruitment, raising funds, and supporting the war effort at home? Who was the intended audience for these posters?

Ask students to describe what is similar about the posters and what is different.

Have students: How do the American propaganda posters depict women? Which of the posters most strongly suggests the idea of a community working together for the war effort? What themes or symbols are present in the German posters?

After reviewing the infographic, tell students that they will be creating their own propaganda poster. Remind them that audience and message are important parts of successful propaganda and that students should keep in mind what their message is and who their intended audience will be.

Possible topics for their posters might include: good citizenship, care of the environment, why space exploration is vital, support of green spaces, promoting healthy eating, “unplugging” from technology, the importance of reading, or an existing local issue that students might want to address.

audience
Noun

observers or listeners of an event or production.

depict
Verb

to represent or draw.

nationalism
Noun

excessive patriotism, or the actions of asserting the interests of one’s own nation at the expense of individuals in that nation, other nations, or the common interest of all nations.

Patriotism
Noun

love of one’s country

propaganda
Noun

information or ideas specifically intended to help or hurt the cause of an organization.

recruit
Verb

to work to supply a group with new members.

symbol
Noun

something used to represent something else.

theme
Noun

subject or topic of discussion or of an art form

World War I
Noun

(1914-1918) armed conflict between the Allies (led by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France) and the Central Powers (led by Germany and Austria-Hungary). Also called the Great War.