In addition to teaching our students how to critically analyze written texts, we also have to teach them how to read non-print text and various visual media. Teens are inundated with hundreds of visual advertisements a day on the TV, the internet, their cell phones, and even on the billboards they pass to and from school. As students learn the propaganda techniques used in various forms of media, they can begin to deconstruct the visual and verbal rhetoric that is used and, ultimately, learn to be more critical of propaganda and its influence on their opinions, actions, and beliefs.

The Remember games and the lesson activities, texts, and films included in this unit engage students in independent and group projects that focus their attention on core rhetorical appeals in various forms of media. Each aspect of this unit demands that students look more closely at the images that flash before them as they search for things online or on their smartphones, and as they watch TV or even YouTube. Increasing their visual and verbal literacy enables students to absorb and respond more critically to the messages contained in advertisements, commercials, magazines, newspapers, and even novels like Feed.

General Understandings
  1. Propaganda is designed to influence how you think, act and/or feel.
  2. Propaganda influences by using visual/verbal language that calls upon deliberate, credible, and emotional appeals.
  3. The impact of strategies of propaganda is correlated to one’s ability to analyze and think critically about visual/verbal messages.
Learning Objectives: 21st Century Skills

The 21st Century Skills framework is a complex system that incorporates content knowledge, specific skills, expertise, and literacies to create a cohesive system of student outcomes and support systems. The Teen Thoughts on Democracy program utilizes the Partnership for 21st Century Skills framework to further the skills cultivated through this progressive game-based curriculum such as critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and creativity and innovation.


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