"Over There": Propaganda Use (History)


In this lesson students will learn about the different types of Propaganda and how they were used. Students will be able to use different skills in order to demonstrate their understanding of the important role propaganda played, and continues to play in today's society. Propaganda is a powerful tool; students will learn how important it is that we understand how propaganda affects our minds. This lesson will help students preview and understand that the human mind can also be healed through the use therapeutic gardening.



Propaganda has been used throughout history by leaders and governments to influence their citizens during times of national conflict and/or crisis. However, its use was escalated to an entirely new level during World War I. In order for students to understand the concept of propaganda and how and why it was and is used to influence people, it is necessary to examine primary sources from this time period, and compare it to how modern governments have used this technique in recent history to sway the world's population to accomplish foreign and domestic policy goals.

History content standards:

10.5.1 Analyze the arguments for entering into war presented by leaders from all sides of the Great War and the role of political and economic rivalries, ethnic and ideological conflicts, domestic discontent and disorder, and propaganda and nationalism in mobilizing the civilian population in support of “total war."

10.6.4 Discuss the influence of World War I on literature, art, and intellectual life in the West (e.g., Pablo Picasso, the “lost generation" of Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway).

Lesson Times

5-10 Minutes
WWI Propaganda: Literature, Art, and Music
45-50 Minutes
Gallery Walk
50 Minutes
The Power of Song
1-2 Class Period

Industries / Subjects / Grades

Industries / Pathways
  • Agriculture & Natural Resources Agriculture & Natural Resources
    • Forestry and Natural Resources
K-12 Subjects
  • History/Social Science
    • History & Geography
Grade Levels
  • 10

Standards and Objectives


California English Common Core Standards (2)

Related Instructional Objectives (SWBAT...)

  • Students will be able to define the concept of propaganda.
  • Students will be able to xamine how it was utilized during World War I by the United States, Great Britain and Germany through analysis
  • Students will be able to evaluate the different strategies and tools used in the creation of propaganda.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of this concept by creating their own piece of propaganda.

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