Teaching Kids About Propaganda

We are knee deep in World War II studies and along comes the first Presidential Debate of the 2020 election. No better time to learn about propaganda. Whether it is used in war time to gain the support of citizens, a way for a candidate to win your vote, how a company convinces you to buy their product or service, or a way of reporting the news – propaganda is basically the same. It is a form of manipulation designed to influence people to believe and support something or someone and often misrepresents or hides the truth.

This video defines and gives examples of the seven main types of propaganda techniques. Knowledge is the power needed to see through the smoke and mirrors of propaganda.

Propaganda in a Nutshell

  1. Band Wagon: Don’t miss out on being a part of this new movement!
  2. Name Calling: My opponent is a liar!
  3. Testimonial: I am Taylor Swift and I endorse Joe Biden
  4. Glittering Generality: I promise to make America great again.
  5. Plain Folks: I grew up in Scranton eating macaroni and cheese.
  6. Card Stacking: I lowered the price of medicine, donated my entire salary and saved the wild mustangs.
  7. Transfer: If you vote for Trump, you are a racist.

Armed with these seven basic examples of propaganda we watched the first debate and browsed Youtube’s large selection of World War II propaganda films and cartoons. Even I was surprised by the amount and frequency of propaganda. Now the kids are seeing it everywhere and we are having great discussions about it.

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