Making Curriculum Pop

Visual Grammar lesson for HS history

This amazing lesson on deconstructing WWII posters is British but would be a great additional to a HS (or advanced MS) history class: http://aspirations.english.cam.ac.uk/converse/movies/visual_grammar.swf . Kids get to look at WWII propaganda posters and decide which emotions are being appealed to (excuse the passive voice!!) by each one.

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Comment by Ryan Goble on March 14, 2009 at 12:01pm
Tim, thanks for getting on and sharing! Your project sounds awesome - if you could scan and post one of the students' projects that might be cool for people to see? Do you have a link for the propaganda trading cards in case folks want to buy them? Btw - the little green and blue square is the "add picture" button and the little "chain link" is for linking websites - above the comments incase you needed to know.

The Media Education Foundation has a cool doc on Propaganda - Peace, Propaganda & The Promised Land - also, and this one is a huge hit with kids of all ages (Kelly you'll need this for the little dudes) - have you seen the Disney collection of WWII cartoons at Amazon. From a description:

Many of the wartime entertainment shorts are largely propaganda. Donald's nightmare of working on a Nazi assembly line in "Der Fuehrer's Face" is still hilarious slapstick. The grimmer "Education for Death" and "Chicken Little" have aged less gracefully. Disney's oddest wartime project was Victory Through Air Power (1943), a live action/animation feature based on Major Alex de Seversky's controversial book that called for the adoption of long-range bombers. By the time it was finished, air power was a reality.
Comment by Tim Albert on March 13, 2009 at 8:11am
When I teach U.S. History I have my kids make their own propaganda posters. First we look at a very oldie but goodie of a film, "Faces of the Enemy." I also picked up a deck of propaganda poster trading cards that gives the students lots of ideas for their own. I'm always amazed at the creative ideas I get back and it gives me lots of classroom wall art!!
Comment by Ryan Goble on March 12, 2009 at 6:35pm
Adding to this (and I told Frank about these sites for the Clearinghouse) :

Recognizing Propaganda/Bias

and a fav short film that kids LOVE!!
POPaganda: The Art and Subversion of Ron English 8:24 min

This is from the Media That Matters Film Fest that I featured on the SHORT FILM & VISUAL POETRY MOTHERLOAD OF RESOURCE post.
Comment by Frank W. Baker on March 11, 2009 at 9:46pm
For those interested in even MORE propaganda resources, please take a look at the web links and book recommendations on the Media Literacy Clearinghouse web site.
Comment by Lisa Fink on March 9, 2009 at 10:48am
That is a great idea! I have found a lesson plan with a similar idea: http://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=829.

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