Political Propaganda

Finding the REAL in APPEAL - or not!



There's a lot going on in the media right now about politics. But it's not ALL about politics. A lot of it is about 'swaying' the public to your point of view. This is where propaganda comes in. In a recent news broadcast, a website cartoon was highlighted for FIVE minutes - because it showed BOTH major parties in an equally bad light. This is a difficult thing to do! It also provided humor in a campaign that has been difficult in a country that is feeling very strongly about the issues - both sides of them! See what's been discussed - and link to the animation that started it all

During this unit, you will gain an understanding not only of the political parties and their stance on issues today, but you will also understand HOW the media sways you to feel one way or another - by using propaganda techniques. Once you are aware of these propaganda techniques, you'll never watch a commercial the same way again!

The goal of this unit is to provide a hands-on, real-world opportunity to become more aware of how advertisers are 'selling' things to you. By using the current political campaigns, you also become a more aware citizen in a democratic community. By understanding the propaganda techniques used, you become a more savvy consumer and make educated decisions, instead of decisions based on what the advertisers want you to feel!



You will work both in groups and individually. As a group, you will present an advertising campaign from the point of view of ONE political party on ONE national issue. As an individual, you will present an advertising campaign (for or against) for ONE issue currently on the ballot in California.

Don't stress! We will be reviewing Propaganda techniques in the classroom, watching and viewing different political campaigns to analyze them for which propaganda techniques were used, and will have forms and tips and tricks on how to create our own advertising campaigns.      



1) Groups will assign Political Roles - so each member understands a different party's viewpoint on the issues at hand (see a description of these roles and some helpful links below in The Roles section). You do NOT have to choose a political party you agree with - it might be more helpful if you choose one you know nothing about, or one you disagree with.

2) All members of the group will review the types of Propaganda used in advertising (both print and media), and complete worksheets analyzing different campaign ads. The worksheet is the first link in a number of links that will help you with this!  

3) Each group will determine, after reviewing the stands on the issues, which political party they wish to represent for an issue. The group will come to concensus - here's a link to help you if you cannot come to consensus - try the tips and see if it helps!  

3) Each group will choose an issue and create an advertising campaign using one or more types of propaganda techniques. The campaign will include a POSTER and a STORYBOARD for a commercial.

4) The groups will present their campaign to the class. The class (audience) will be able to clearly define which propaganda techniques were used, and which political party the groups represented. They will grade the presentation using the Campaign Rubric 

5) Each student will choose an issue on the ballot for the state of California and present an advertising campaign (including poster and quote from a current political figure about the issue) for or against the issue.


THE ROLES - groups of 4  

Each of you will take one of the following roles:

A Democratic voter
A Republican voter
An Independent voter
A Liberal or Green or Constitution Party voter (choose one)*

To better understand your "role-playing" point of view, review the issues at hand to get a sense of how your party's candidate will vote. Click on the LINKS button above for links to websites that sum up the candidates and their stands on the issues.

NOTE: The importance of this piece of the exercise is that you bring your party's view to the table - not to KNOW everything about your candidate. By reviewing a few of the sites available, and the stands your party makes on the major issues at hand, you will be able to understand how the party feels about an issue. This understanding will help you create good media advertising for an issue. This link provides information from a variety of media sources on the current political issues 




You have a LOT to do! I would recommend you get a sense of your candidate's "point of view" before you begin anything else! Don't spend too much time on this, though, as your understanding of the Propaganda techniques is the most crucial piece to your success during this unit.

Be creative! You have many choices throughout this unit - choose items you care about so it is more interesting to you.



How my Group worked together and performed while presenting a candidate and his stance one of the issues
How well I met the standards while creating a campaign for two local issues



Reflection on the process! As we wrap up the unit, we will answer questions in a journal format during the last day of class for this unit.  


Thanks for being part of the WebQuest!