You're the Author: WWI Propaganda Creation Project
3 class periods
World War I
9, 10, 11, 12
Classroom/Homework Activity to be performed:
In this lesson, students will view a variety of examples of WWI propaganda posters and discuss their
message and why they were important for the war effort. After the discussion, students will create
their own examples of WWI propaganda posters.
To inform students why WWI propaganda posters were so effective and important for the war effort.
District, state, or national performance and knowledge standards/goals/skills met:
9-12.AH.3.CC.B - Evaluate the motivations for United States’ entry into WWI.
âï¿½ï¿½ 9-12.AH.3.PC.D - Assess the impact of WWI related events, on the formation of “patriotic” groups,
pacifist organizations, and the struggles for and against racial equality, and diverging women’s roles
in the United States.
Primary materials (book, article, video documentary, etc.) needed:
WWI Propaganda posters - examples can be found at http://www.ww1propaganda.com/ ,
http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/object-groups/women-in-wwi/war-posters , and other various
internet and print sources
Full description of activity or assignment.
âï¿½ï¿½ Students will walk into the classroom that has various examples of WWI propaganda posters (see
primary sources above) on the walls.
âï¿½ï¿½ Students will walk around the classroom examining the posters and write quick notes about the
âï¿½ï¿½ Students will pay close attention to:
âï¿½ï¿½ After students have had time to examine the posters, the class will discuss propaganda
âï¿½ï¿½ What does propaganda mean?
âï¿½ propaganda is information that is spread for the purpose of promoting a cause or
âï¿½ During WWI, posters were used to
âï¿½ï¿½ Recruit men to join the army
âï¿½ï¿½ Recruit women to work in the factories and in the Women’s Land Army
âï¿½ï¿½ Encourage people to save food and not to waste it
âï¿½ï¿½ Keep morale high and encourage people to buy government bonds
âï¿½ï¿½ Why were propaganda posters needed during WWI?
âï¿½ Countries only had small standing, professional armies at the start of the war
âï¿½ They desperately needed men to join up and fight
âï¿½ Most people did not own radios and TVs had not yet been invented
âï¿½ The easiest way for the government to communicate with the people was through
posters stuck on walls in all the towns and cities
âï¿½ï¿½ How were men encouraged to join the army?
âï¿½ Men were made to feel unmanly and cowardly for staying at home
âï¿½ï¿½ How were women used to encourage men to join the army?
âï¿½ Women were encouraged to pressurise their husbands, boyfriends, sons, and
brothers to join up
âï¿½ï¿½ How was fear used?
âï¿½ Some posters tried to motivate men to join up through fear
âï¿½ Posters showed the atrocities that the Germans were said to be committing in
France and Belgium
âï¿½ People were encouraged to fear that unless they were stopped, the Germans would
invade Britain and commit atrocities against their families
âï¿½ï¿½ How were women encouraged to work in the factories or to join the army or the land girls?
âï¿½ When the men joined the war, the women were needed to do their jobs
âï¿½ There was a massive need for women in the factories, to produce the weapons,
ammunition and uniforms needed for the soldiers
âï¿½ There was a major food shortage and women were desperately needed to grow
food for the people of Britain and the soldiers in France
âï¿½ï¿½ Posters encouraged everyone to do their bit
âï¿½ Through joining up
âï¿½ Through working for the war effort
âï¿½ By not wasting food
âï¿½ Through investing in government bonds
âï¿½ï¿½ Why are WWI propaganda posters important?
âï¿½ For historians today, propaganda posters of WWI reveal the values and attitudes of
the people at the time
âï¿½ They tell us something about the feelings in Britain during WWI
âï¿½ï¿½ Class will discuss the assignment (poster creation)
âï¿½ï¿½ Students will begin brainstorming ideas for their own propaganda posters in small groups
âï¿½ï¿½ Students will begin creating their propaganda posters
âï¿½ï¿½ Students will continue working to create their propaganda posters
âï¿½ï¿½ Students will be given 15 minutes to finish their posters and hang them up around the classroom
âï¿½ï¿½ Students will walk around the room and look at the posters created by their classmates
âï¿½ï¿½ Students will play close attention to:
Full explanation of the assessment method and/or scoring guide:
Directions: You will create an effective propaganda poster on one of the topics below that could
have been used in World War I.
âï¿½ï¿½ Possible topics:
âï¿½ Enlistment and recruitment
âï¿½ The role of women
âï¿½ Financing the war
âï¿½ Food conservation
âï¿½ Aiding our allies
âï¿½ Entering the war
âï¿½ï¿½ The poster will be drawn or printed (using photoshop or etc) on 8 ½” by 11” paper and
graded on your use of message/theme, creativity, neatness, historical accuracy,
explanation, and use of characteristics/techniques
âï¿½ï¿½ Assessment rubric