Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum


Political Propaganda: Icons, Slogans, and Imagery in Presidential Elections
Author:
Josh Lefeber
Course:
US History
Time Frame:
3 class periods
Grade Levels:
8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:

Students will work with a partner to find three pieces of propaganda from three different decades starting with the Election of 1789 to present. Once they have found their three pieces, students will need to find differences and similaritiies in the pieces of presidential propaganda. Once they have compiled the list, students will then interpret whether there are any themes among the propaganda. Once information has been compiled, students will write a one-page reflection over the three pieces to relay their findings. As a final part of their project, students will create a short 5 minute presentation presenting the information they have obtained with an emphasis on the similarities, differences, and themes.

Rationale:

Students often only see and remember the recent campaign slogans, imagery, and icons presently represented in American politics. The goal of this lesson is for students to take a look into past presidential propaganda and determine its similarities and differences. Hopefully through this lesson students will begin to recognize themes being used in presidential propaganda, while also recognizing how presidential propaganda has evolved.

District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:


â��     SS7 1.7, 1.5: Distinguish between & analyze primary and secondary sources. Interpret maps, statistics, charts, diagrams, graphs, timelines, pictures, political cartoons, audiovisual materials, continua, written resources, art and artifacts.

â��     SS7 1.8, 2.1: Create maps, charts, diagrams, graphs, timelines and political cartoons to assist in analyzing and visualizing concepts in social studies. (Presentation)

Secondary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
Full description of activity or assignment.

Students will work with a partner to find three pieces of propaganda from three different decades starting with the Election of 1789 to present. Once they have found their three pieces, students will need to find differences and similaritiies in the pieces of presidential propaganda. Once they have compiled the list, students will then interpret whether there are any themes among the propaganda. Once information has been compiled, students will write a one-page reflection over the three pieces to relay their findings. As a final part of their project, students will create a short 5 minute presentation presenting the information they have obtained with an emphasis on the similarities, differences, and themes.

 

Directions:

Students, you will need to find a partner and discover three pieces of political propaganda from three different decades going back as far as 1789 to the present. Once you have found your three pieces, compile a list of similarities and differences. Also, look for themes between the three pieces. You will then write a one-page reflection over your three pieces discussing the similarities and differences with an emphasis on themes. Your last task is to create a short five minute presentation to the class about your findings.

 

Resources:

-          Your textbook (The American Vision)

-          http://www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1952

-          http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/03/180-yearspresidential-campaign-posters-propaganda

-          http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/06/200-years-of-stunning-and-strange-presidential-campaign-posters/258044/

-          https://www.loc.gov/

-          http://library.ucsd.edu/speccoll/dswenttowar/index.html#intro

-          Wright, Jordan M. Campaigning for President. New York: Smithsonian /Collins, 2008. Print.

Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:

-           

 

Political Propaganda

Similarities

Differences

Themes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rubric:

 

 

 

One-Page Reflection:

 

 

Summary:                                0                                  2.5                              

 

 

Similarities:                             0                                  2.5                               5                                 

 

 

Differences:                            0                                  2.5                               5                                 

 

 

Themes:                                   0                                  2.5                               5

 

 

Grammar / Spelling:                0                                  2.5

 

 

 

 

Presentation:

 

 

Projection:                               0                                  2.5                               5

 

 

Posture:                                   0                                  2.5                               5

 

 

 

 

Comments:

 

 

 

 

Total:___________________________________________________________________________/30