Persuasion, or Propaganda? Analyzing World War II Posters

This lesson plan uses WWII propaganda to teach analysis of visuals, arguments, and use of propaganda.  It includes links to propaganda, interactive activities, and rubrics for analysis.  Students present their findings in an analytical essay. This lesson (split into three smaller chunks) can be used to teach propaganda analysis, but can also be used in a unit teaching novels or nonfiction books concerning WWII.  This lesson may be a great cross curricular opportunity for English and history courses. 

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
CLE 3002.5.5
Analyze written and oral communication for persuasive devices.
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Learning objectives: 

Students will:

  • discuss the differences between argument, persuasion, and propaganda. 
  • analyze visual texts individually, in small groups, and as a whole class. 
  • (optionally) write an analytical essay.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Extension suggestions: 

The Propaganda Techniques in Literature and Online Political Ads lesson plan offers additional information about propaganda as well as some good Websites on propaganda.

Helpful Hints

All the materials are provided.