Saturday, January 29, 2011

Considering Propaganda

Considering Propaganda

Supplemented by:
Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State, Episode 2 “Orders and Initiatives”
Excerpts from:

Essential Question: What are the implications of propaganda in the past and present?

·      Historical propaganda
·      Contemporary propaganda
·      Graphic novels
·      The Holocaust


Reading Emphasis:

·      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)

Writing Emphasis:

·      Writer's workshop 2 days a week
·      Respond to daily reading in a variety of ways:
·      Running questions
·      Double entry journals
·      Poem responses
·      etc.
·       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
·     This site has actual Nazi discourse on propaganda: highlight excerpts of this
·     The US Holocaust Museum would be a great place for a webquest
·       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)

Student Products:

·      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.
·      Assessment:
·     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.

No comments:

Post a Comment