Propaganda in Presidential Elections

Alexandra Kennedy Edwards, US/NC History, Bailey Middle School

Final Unit (PDF)

Implementing Common Core Standards

200 Word Synopsis

We are subjected to a greater amount of information today and from many more sources than ever before.  My students should be responsible consumers of that information and they must be able to carefully evaluate these messages that they encounter, especially when those messages urge some sort of action. This becomes even more vital as they enter into high school and prepare for the journey of becoming an informed citizen able to vote at the age of 18. Students will examine many forms of propaganda from a primary source aspect. Included in these are election advertisements in newspaper, radio, television, and internet format.  Many of these advertisements were created by individuals who made very deliberate choices about what to include, what to leave out, and how to carefully present what was included. Twitter, blogs, instant fact checking have all changed the landscape of our election arena since the 2000 elections.  Many of the activities are geared towards a present day election. However, some of the activities take advantage of Project Look Sharp’s Media Construction Kit that takes students back to elections as far back as 1800.  Activities involve how to evaluate sources, participating in and, creating visual/audio campaign ads of their own, and developing political cartoons.