Group Size: Any

Time Required: 60 - 90 minutes

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


Student Worksheet #5 (attached)
Overhead transparency of definitions (attached)
Two overhead transparencies of images (attached)
Exit slips (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:  For the last couple of days, we've been discussing propaganda. What is propaganda again? (Target response: methods used to spread ideas that further a cause (a political, commercial, religious or civil cause)

We've discussed four different kinds of propaganda so far. Who can remind us what kinds we've covered and how those techniques work? (Targets: Bandwagon makes you feel like "everyone else is doing it," repetition repeats an image/word/phrase again and again, name-calling tries to convince you that someone or something is bad/evil/ugly, and testimonial depends upon the endorsement of a famous person.)

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 is still useful to us today since advertisers, politicians, and many other movers and shakers depend upon propaganda today to sell their products or get us to buy into their ideas.

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

The first technique we'll address is called "Emotional Appeal" or "Loaded Words." 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 "Emotional Appeal" as the use of words or images with strong emotional associations

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 "Emotional Appeal," and especially how it makes them feel.)

The second kind of propaganda we're going to look at today is called "Plain Folks."

George Bush depended upon Plain Folks to get elected, so it pays to get wise to this technique. "Plain Folks" is at work whenever you see a famous person purposefully portrayed doing "ordinary person" things or using "dumbed-down" language.  Let's look at an example before you define it. (Use the overhead. Ask students what they see, how the ad is an example of "Plain Folks," etc.  Accept reasonable responses. T should then reveal the definition on the overhead as students record it in their notes.)  We're going to define "Plan Folks" as "Using a 'folksy' or dumbed-down approach to convince someone to support something OR famous people depicting themselves doing 'ordinary' things."

Take a moment to look at the other ads on your notes for today. Determine whether each ad or excerpt is using "Plain Folks," "Emotional Appeal," "Testimonial," "Repetition," Name-Calling" or "Bandwagon" techniques. 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. Before we share, please take a moment to complete these exit slips.  (T will distribute exit slips, allow time, then collect.)

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.  This evening, T will review all exit slips to identify students who may be having difficulty with the concept of propaganda.)

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 "Plain Folks" and "Emotional Appeal." How do they work? (Accept reasonable responses.)

2. How does "Repetition" 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.  Exit slips help the teacher to identify students who are struggling with this concept.


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