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Lesson at a glance
How can art be used to convey a message.
Welcome to episode five of Time Travel TV! This time we will be exploring a colourful piece of art, but what was its message and purpose?
Look at the mystery document very carefully. What you can see?
You might like to discuss your ideas with your helper, or print out the document to circle details as you spot them.
Here are a few questions to think about:
- What is the layout of this document?
- What images can you see?
- What does the text say?
- What type of document is it?
You’ve worked like a history detective to investigate this poster and collect lots of evidence.
Now, consider these questions to take your thinking further:
- Who does the figure in the dustbin represent?
- What does the text mean?
- When do you think this poster was made?
- Who do you think produced this poster?
- Why was it made?
How does this poster work as a piece of propaganda?
Use all of the evidence you’ve gathered to make suggestions about what this poster is trying to convince people to do, and why this would have been important during the war.
See if you can summarise your ideas in a sentence or two to work out the message of the poster.
Did you think this poster was effective?
Many more propaganda posters were designed during the war to encourage people to support the war effort, and each poster had its own important message. Practise your skills and find out more about propaganda with the follow-up activities on this webpage.
Additional documents to investigate:
Look at each poster in turn, and think about these questions:
- What can you see in this poster? Jot down as many details as you can spot.
- What is the message of this poster? What is it trying to convince people to do?
- Who was its intended audience? Use details from the poster to support your ideas here.
- What techniques does the artist use to get the poster’s message across?
- Do you think this poster is effective? Why?
Design your own propaganda poster
Propaganda can be an effective way of encouraging people to do something important. Create your own poster to convince your parents, carers or someone in your family to do something that’s important to you!
You could design a poster to encourage people to volunteer for the NHS, recycle plastic, or support a cause that matters to you.
Don’t forget to think about your audience and use a range of techniques to make your poster convincing. Colourful images, catchy text, and even humour can all help to get your message across!
How did Britain encourage people at home to help win the war?
The Home Front
How did people prepare for the war at home?
Skip to Main Content of WWII
A lesson in wwii propaganda posters.
The Museum's collection of wartime posters inspires Iowa students to draw their own.
The National WWII Museum strives to help teachers explore the history and lessons of World War II with their students. Using an object-based learning experience, educational technology, and its world-class exhibits, artifacts, archives, and oral histories, the Museum takes history beyond the pages of textbooks and into the hands of curious students .
Recently, one teacher used Museum resources related to WWII propaganda posters to take a lesson a step further by turning it into a hands-on, student-created art project. Andrew Bouska and Nick Nelson, teachers at Ankeny High School in Ankeny, Iowa, showed examples of WWII Allied propaganda posters to his students before challenging them to design posters using their own original ideas and slogans. Bouska mailed copies of his student’s artwork, several examples of which are presented here.
The National WWII Museum always loves to see how teachers and students are using its lesson plans, resources, and materials. If you are using WWII history in your classroom in unique and exciting ways, please email us so that we can share your good work in making history come alive: [email protected].
Among the participating artists: Kassidy Adams, Kiana Baccam, Joya Cleven, Hallie Evans, Carly McCoy, Riley Owen, Samantha Parr, Katelyn Schaeffer, Maddi Schulte, Alyssa Smith, and Bre Steim.
Keep in Touch: Letters of Hope
During this webinar, Linda Hope, daughter of Bob Hope, and The National WWII Museum will discuss her father’s legacy by examining some of the letters he received, emphasizing how this translates to current classrooms and how letter writing can still make an impact on active military communities today.
The History of European Antisemitism
Learn about the origins, evolution, and persistence of antisemitism in European history. In this webinar, teachers will gain the knowledge and resources needed to help students better understand the trajectory and development of antisemitism.
The 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion: The African American Heroes of the D-Day Invasion
Students will learn about the brave men of the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion and their extraordinary mission to help protect US soldiers during the D-Day Invasions on June 6, 1944.
S. Neil Fujita: Cover To Cover
S. Neil Fujita was an American citizen born to parents of Japanese American ancestry. Like more than 120,000 other Japanese Americans, Fujita and his family were forcibly relocated and incarcerated during World War II.
Tinkering with Found Objects: A STEAM Webinar
Learn about the story of Edwin Nye, an American Prisoner Of War held by the Japanese during World War II and later the father to Bill Nye “The Science Guy.”
The Holocaust: One Teen's Story of Persecution and Survival
Hear personal recorded testimony from Eva Schloss, the stepsister of Anne Frank and survivor of Auschwitz.
STEM Innovation: from the Computer to Artificial Intelligence
World War II was the catalyst for many technological advances, including creating the world’s first computer—an invention that has revolutionized the world we live in.
Development of Drugs and Vaccines: Lessons from World War II
As the world implements a vaccination program for Covid-19, we can look to WWII history to learn more about the process.
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World War 2 Art & History SOW - Propaganda, Printmaking & Drawing Cross-Curricular KS3 TWO II
Subject: Whole school
Age range: 11-14
Resource type: Worksheet/Activity
26 August 2021
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Cross-curricular project with History looking at propaganda posters from WW2. Pupils begin by drawing WW2 related objects from primary source and develop design ideas for a final polyprinted WW2 poster.
Lesson objectives/outcomes, plenaries and homeworks are included.
Project lasts roughly 4-6 weeks depending on the number of Art lessons per week.
Attached is also a homework booklet where pupils are asked to analyse the propaganda posters created by Abram Games and spellings which can be set for homework.
Suitable for KS3.
Original propaganda polyprinting process was from Kate Irving who shared the resource on the NSEAD Facebook group.
WW2 matchboxes included as homework were also shared by Louie Clazey from Norton College on Pinterest.
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Children evaluate the purpose, audience and effectiveness of a range of World War Two propaganda posters. Includes a cross-curricular Art challenge to design a poster of their own.
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