How Could Anyone Allow That to Happen?! World War II and the Power of Group Influence

Delee Marciano, Language Arts, Randolph Middle School

Final Unit (PDF)     Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)

200 Word Synopsis

In this unit, based on the ideas of propaganda, students will explore a variety of topics that are relevant to our study of history. Often abstract ideas like propaganda are lost on students because they do not think that they can relate to the material or find themselves daunted by the idea of analyzing primary source documents and advertisements. This unit will intertwine propaganda techniques that students will learn in Language Arts with the actual use of propaganda in Modern Societies in Social Studies. All of this will culminate into a discussion of how propaganda is used to influence large groups of people to do something that we deem as wrong by today’s standards. Right now I plan to discuss the use of propaganda in the genocides involving the people of Europe during World War II. I believe this is a unit that can extend to and be adapted to genocides and propaganda around the world. I would encourage other teachers to use this as a resource to teach these topics.