Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State, Episode 2 “Orders and Initiatives”
The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupifies Young Americans and Jeapordizes Our Future, Mark Bauerlein
Essential Question: What are the implications of propaganda in the past and present?
· Historical propaganda
· Contemporary propaganda
· Graphic novels
· The Holocaust
· Read Maus aloud to students 3 days a week (15-20 minutes)
· Choice reading 2 days a week (15-20 minutes)
· (Night, Elie Weisel has been read previously)
· Writer's workshop 2 days a week
· Respond to daily reading in a variety of ways:
· Running questions
· Double entry journals
· Poem responses
· Team work exploring different types of essays (persuasive, research, etc.)
· What is a graphic novel?
· Begin with a very brief history of comics and graphic novels, as well as why you are interested in them yourself.
· Bring in many different examples of graphic novels/comics and set them out in centers around the room.
· Graphic novels I will include:
· Fahrenheit 451, Stitches, The US Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation, The Dark Knight Returns, V for Vendetta, etc.
· Provide students with a questionnaire to fill out as they circulate in groups.
· Things to consider include:
· Length, genre, color scheme, brief synopsis, fiction or nonfiction, does it look interesting, is it literature?
· Regroup after each group has visited each center and discuss findings.
· How do you read a graphic novel?
· Provide students with copies of a few spreads from various graphic novels
· Have students free-write about which spread is more appealing to them. Which one would they want to read more of?
· Then, discuss as a class aesthetic preferences.
· Begin to identify different artistic techniques (line width, box shape, amount of white space, wordlessness, etc.)
· Consider with the class how the difficulty of reading a graphic novel compares to reading a novel.
· Have students translate the graphic novel spread into a different medium of their choice.
· What is propaganda? (“Propaganda is biased information designed to shape public opinion and behavior.”)
· What are common goals of propaganda?
· Why/how does propaganda work?
· (Bring in a few examples of propaganda throughout history)
· 1984, George Orwell
· Examine Orwell's quotes regarding language and propaganda
· “All the war-propaganda, all the screaming and lies and hatred, comes invariably from people who are not fighting.”
· “Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.”
· “And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed-- if all records told the same tale-- then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'”
· “Woodcock refers to the modern jargon-filled English used by “newspaper editors, bureaucrats, radio announcers, and parliamentary speakers” who have, just as Orwell feared, a heavy “reliance on ready-made phrases” (92). Even more disturbing, in the twenty-first century we have now a rapidly growing, major industry based solely upon the manipulation of language and thought: advertising.”
· How did propaganda work in 1984? Does this parallel anything in history?
· Nazi propaganda
· Show students Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State, Episode 2 “Orders and Initiatives”
· On the episode, there is a discussion after the documentary about questioning authority
· Modern American propaganda (may be better in a series of mini-lessons over multiple days)
· Examples of propaganda in America, past and present. A good resource for this may be Taking the Risk Out of Democracy: Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty by Alex Carey.
· The beauty industry
· “Spin” in journalism
· Anti-youth propaganda: The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future, Mark Bauerlein
· Provide examples to students and discuss the techniques being used today and to what end they are used.
· (Contrast with: The Scapegoat Generation: America's War on Adolescents, Mike A. Males)
· Each class will create an “anthology.”
· The anthology will be created much in the format of a real anthology, with:
· Submissions (2 per essay required) of two distinct essays.
· Approximately 1-2 pages
· Submissions will focus specifically on Maus, the Holocaust, or graphic novels
· Each topic must be approved and each paper must have an identified goal (research, persuasion, comparison/contrast, etc.)
· Each topic must relate in some way to Maus.
· Minimum 1 other form of submissions, spanning:
· Poetry, lyrics, art, book review, etc...
· “Editors” (my co-teacher and I) will meet with students briefly about each submission.
· Any “published” assignment will earn an A or B
· Any assignment not qualifying to be published can be resubmitted as many times as necessary
· Any extra submissions (beyond the 1 required) that qualify to be published will receive an A
· Final Product:
· Students will arrange submissions that qualify to be published into a format that they are proud of:
· This will be done physically (with paper printouts) before being organized online into a blog.
· The class as a whole will be responsible for all aspects of the blog:
· Formatting, color choice, order, etc.
· Hyperlinks (with highlighting)
· Comments (with large sticky notes)
· Side information (“About the authors,” credits, pictures, etc.)
· Ideally, each class will have one copy bound for the classroom.
· The online blogs will be publicized within the school.