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MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Propaganda of War

This lesson is for students to examine propaganda posters from World War I. This lesson is best suited for secondary (6-12 grade) students. The lesson can be used for students who have studies propaganda, as well as an introduction to propaganda.

Class periods: 2-3


- Print student packets & poster analysis (1 per student)

- Print propaganda definitions (1 per pair/small group)

- Have computers for posters or print propaganda posters (1-2 sets, in color) & set up around the room (recommend laminating or placing in sheet protectors)

Follow the lesson outline below:

1. Do Now/Bell Ringer: Student read definitions of propaganda, and then create their own definition in their own words of what they think propaganda means.

2. Class Discussion: Share definitions. Where do we see propaganda today? Why is propaganda used?

3. Types of Propaganda: Working in pairs, students look at types of propaganda, define it, and give examples.

4. WWI Propagana Posters: Students will rotate through poster "stations" & fill in chart (encourage students to start with what they see). Chart is located in Poster Analysis pdf.

5. Poster Analysis: Student choose 1 poster to analyze thoroughly. Chart uses Bloom's Taxonomy to guide students through analysis.

6. Analysis: Think-Pair-Share - students write responce, talk with partner, share with class

7. Wrap Up Discussion: What are the pros and cons of propaganda? Why was is it heavily used during war time? What type of propaganda is most effective?

8. Extensions: Class Debate on best type of propaganda and/or have students design their own propaganda poster.

Created By

Delaney E Paul


History/Social Studies

Grade Level


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