Group Size: Any

Time Required: 60 - 90 minutes

Learning Objectives: Students will be able to differentiate between different types of propaganda


Student Worksheet #4 (attached)
Overhead transparency of definitions (attached)
Two overhead transparencies of images (attached)
Post-it notes (so that students can code their novels)

Do Now: (S will complete a Venn Diagram comparing and contrasting bandwagon and repetition propaganda.  T will allow time, then share out whole-class on the board.)

Connection:Yesterday we began our discussion of propaganda. What is propaganda again? (Target response: methods used to spread ideas that further a cause (a political, commercial, religious or civil cause)

Just as we discussed in the Do Now, yesterday we covered two different propaganda techniques, Bandwagon and Repetition. Propaganda relates to our unit on World War II because the Nazis used a lot of propaganda to convince Nazi Germany that what they were doing, that is, persecuting certain ethnic and religious groups, was good and right.

Yet knowing propaganda techniques are still in use today since advertisers, politicians, and many other movers and shakers depend upon propaganda to sell their products or get us to buy into their ideas.

Direct Instruction / Guided Practice:  Today we're going to briefly cover two other techniques you should be familiar with as you become decision-makers and consumers in our society.

The first technique we'll address is called "Name-Calling Propaganda." Can anyone recall how that works? (Accept reasonable responses.  Then T should reveal the definition on the overhead as students record it in their notes.) We're going to define "Name-Calling Propaganda as words or images that portray an opponent as nasty, ugly, immoral or otherwise bad."

Let's take a look at an example of what that looks like. (Place Advertisement 1 on the overhead. Ask students what they see, how the ad is an example of name-calling, and how it makes them feel.)

The second kind of propaganda we're going to look at today is called "Testimonial Propaganda." What does it mean to give a "testimonial?" (Accept reasonable responses. Students will probably mention testimonials in the court room, so be prepared to make that connection. T should then reveal the definition on the overhead as students record it in their notes.)  We're going to define Testimonial Propaganda as, "a famous person makes a statement of support for something or someone."

The book we're going to be reading together, Night, by Elie Wiesel, is an Oprah book club selection. That right there is an example of testimonial propaganda. Oprah, a famous person, is saying she likes the book enough to put her stamp on it.

Let's look at another example on the overhead that also happens to use Oprah's celebrity to make gains. (Place Advertisement 2 on the overhead. Ask students what they see, how the ad is an example of testimonial propaganda, and how it makes them feel.  Ensure that S understand that Oprah, in all likelihood, did not actually endorse  This advertisement, then, demonstrates a whole new self-consciousness around the use of testimonial advertising.)  

Take a moment to look at the other ads on your notes for today. Determine whether they're using the"Testimonial" technique or the "Name-Calling" technique.  There might also be a "Bandwagon" or "Repetition" propaganda example throw in there, so be thoughtful in your decisions. You're welcome to work independently or with a partner.

(Allow time. Then share out whole-class and tease out students' thinking.)


Link: Just like yesterday, you should continue practicing coding your novels. If, as you are reading your literature circle books, you find descriptions of propaganda, make sure to sticky note them so that you can share them with your literature circle members at your next meeting!

Independent Practice: (S read silently and code the text. Since all S should have selected literature circle novels and scheduled meetings with their literature circle groups for this week, small groups of S may be meeting at this time. T should be free to hold Reader's Workshop conferences with individual students and/or pull small groups for guided reading or other interventions.)

Share: Our reading time is up for today. Please take a couple of minutes to share your thinking and your coding with your table partner or your literature circle group.

(T will allow time.)

Closing:  Today we continued our discussion of propaganda, one of Nazi Germany's most important tools for getting German citizens to go along with their plan to "purify" the German "race." It's important that we take the time to become familiar with these kinds of persuasive techniques, as they're still in use today, sometimes for the purpose of selling products, sometimes for the purpose of shaping our opinions about religion and politics.

It's time for million dollar question!

1. Today we discussed the propaganda techniques of "Name-Calling" and "Testimonial." How do they work? (Accept reasonable responses.)

2. How does "Bandwagon" propaganda work? (Accept reasonable responses.)

3. (Note to the Instructor: Insert your own question here based upon objectives your students mastered up until this point in the year.)

4. What was World War II? Answer this question in a way that an eight-year-old could understand. (Accept reasonable responses.)

Differentiation: Novels are differentiated by reading level and by choice. Gradual release during Direct Instruction/Guided practice. Choice of working independently or with partners. Active reading strategy: coding the text.


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