Propaganda In WW2
There are two videos to choose from to learn how propaganda was used during WW2.
The first one is better for younger kids, the second one will appeal to older kids. Feel free to watch one, or both!
Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to test your understanding by taking the quiz!
High school students or any student who wants to dig deeper, continue your study with one of the advanced learning projects located at the end of this learning block!
Did you know propaganda was used in books, comics, and cartoons during WW2?
WW2 Propaganda Around The World
We’ve seen how propaganda was used in the US during WW2, but it was also used in many other countries. Watch the first video below to see how radio was used for propaganda in Germany. Watch the second video to see how British propaganda used clear, interesting images to get their ideas across. The third video shows how Japan used cartoons to spread propaganda.
After watching all three, think about how they are alike and different. Which do you think would have grabbed your attention if you were alive during WW2? What’s grabbing your attention today? Can you think of any examples of propaganda being used in our world today?
Is Propaganda Still Used Today?
What is the difference between disinformation and misinformation? Watch the video below. Decide which category WW2 propaganda falls under. Why do you think so?
Now choose an Activity
Create A Piece of Propaganda
You are learning how propaganda was used in WW2 to make people believe certain things or to pursuade them to take action. You have seen how images and words were used to make people feel different emotions. Do you think you could use a picture or video to convince someone to believe what you believe? Maybe you think your favorite food is the best and everyone should eat it every day. Do you have a favorite movie, book, or game you feel everyone should love too?
Create a poster or video to convince someone in your house they should belive what you believe about one of your favorite things. You can draw, paint, use pictures from a catalogue or magazine, or make a video! Think about the propaganda pieces you’ve seen. What can you use from them to make your piece convincing?
Save your poster for your portfolio. If you make a video, write a quick description about it for your portfolio.
Analyze WW2 Propaganda
Click here to download a Propaganda Analysis Guide from pbs.org. Choose an example of propaganda from one of the videos. Evaluate your piece using the guide.
For more practice, evaluate and compare more than one propaganda piece. You can find a slideshow of posters at history.com. How are the images and words the same? How are they different? What is the purpose of each piece? How does each piece make you feel? Write down your thoughts on each piece. You can print extra copies of the guide, write your thoughts in a journal, or talk about them with a parent or sibling.
Save your analysis and any extra writing you do for your portfolio.
WW2 Propaganda Project
You have learned that propaganda is still used today. Can you find an example? Pay attention to the messages you see and hear. You might find an example on TV, online, in a magazine, in the news, or on a billboard. Pick one example to evaluate. You can create a poster, write a paragraph, or make a video to share your ideas. Be sure to picture or describe your example of current propaganda. What is the purpose of the piece? How does it make you feel? Does it encourage people to take action? Why do you think it is important to be able to identify and evaluate propaganda?
Books About WW2 Propaganda
Click on a book to buy it from Amazon. Or, you can ask for them at your local library.
The Nantucket Sea Monster Read Aloud
This is a true story! You can learn more about what happened in the videos below:
Choose at least one.
Propaganda Today-Let’s Investigate
You learned that propaganda is still used today. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the messages you receive and evaluate their accuracy. It is crucial to examine those messages for racial bias as well. Dig deeper to learn techniques used for propaganda by watching this presentation from justaddstudents.com. Learn more about implicit bias by watching this TED talk.
Create a google slide presentation to show examples of propaganda today. Be sure to define propaganda and racial bias. Choose three examples of current media to evaluate in your presentation. Create a presentation that would help someone unfamiliar with the topic to understand it. You have learned to look deeply at the messages around you. This will be an opportunity to teach someone else how to do the same.
- Define propaganda and racial bias and show an example of how it was used in WW2
- Evaluate three pieces of current media (Are they propaganda? Do they include racial bias? What is the message they are trying to convey?)
- Explain why it is critical to pay close attention to the messages around us, who is creating them, and whether they are truth or propaganda
Include your presentation in your portfolio. Write a description and then provide a link.
Create A Piece Of Art, Literature, Or Video To Promote Unity
WW2 Propaganda was created to divide. It was meant cultivate fear of those who were different. Images, literature, film and more were used in this way during that time. Can you create something to unify people? Write a poem, make a video, or create a piece of art. Or use another form of expression to get your idea across. Remember all the ways governments spread propaganda during WW2. Use one of those ways to promote an idea that brings people together.
When designing your piece, think about:
- The Who, What, When, Where, and Why of your message
- The emotion you want to convey
- The use of color or words to convey emotion as well as theme
- The style of your piece and what message that sends as well
- Write a short artistic brief explaining your subject and your choices
Include your piece in your portfolio.
Write An Essay
Racist propaganda was widely used on all sides during WW2. If it had not been used, how do you think life would have been different during that time? Write an essay to share your ideas. You can approach the essay any way you like. You can focus on what might have been different for one race or for your own race. You can discuss what life would have been like in your country or in any country you choose. Be sure to use examples of what you have learned about how different races were portrayed in propaganda during that time. Think about how people’s views of each other were changed by propaganda. In the absence of propaganda, how might the same groups of people have viewed each other?
Download and print this outline tool, from studenthandouts.com, to help you organize your essay.
Do the research and fill in the notes of what you want to include in your outline. Then, write the essay. Be sure to use a tool like Grammerly to help improve and edit your writing.
Upload your essay to your portfolio.