by Tina Servaia, HOD History, Calcutta International School
‘Only the mob and the elite can be attracted by the momentum of totalitarianism itself. The masses have to be won by propaganda.’
In use since ancient times, propaganda has always served emperors and democratically elected leaders alike in controlling the world and people around them. It found its highest expression in Germany, under the Nazis, who perfected it as a means to gain and consolidate control. Reams have been written and discussed about how the Nazis used and abused propaganda and why people accepted and believed it. Yet, the propaganda wheel keeps turning. We live in times flooded with images and messages, whether from mainstream media, art and culture, social media, advertisers, political leaders or even our friendly neighbourhood beauty parlour – all of whom use some aspects of propaganda to convince us to accept what they are saying. It is more important than ever for us to read and decode propaganda, in order to retain the ability to think for ourselves.
Thankfully, there are simple, classroom-friendly tools to enable us to do this.
This lesson plan uses classroom-friendly tools to enable you to understand, examine and decode samples of Nazi propaganda and then locate, select and decode examples of propaganda from the world around you.
Download the Reading Propaganda lesson PPT here.
Download the entire Reading Propaganda Assignment here.