Activate: Propaganda

Remixing Media Messages
  1. In this activity, students will re-purpose the ten (10) examples of different types of propaganda from various sources such as newspaper editorials and cartoons, advertisements from magazines, the internet, and TV that they collected for the Analyzing Propaganda Techniques lesson in Connect.
  2. Allow each student to choose an ad and media of his/her choice from the group’s selection.
  3. Distribute the Analyzing Advertising Worksheet and review the elements of a typical advertisement with the students. Ask students to analyze the ad they selected and complete the worksheet for that ad.
  4. After completing their analyses, they will change the message to make it more “truthful,” in other words replace deceptive words or images with ones that closer reflect reality. They may need to conduct research to gather real statistics or information about the subject of the ad. This can be assigned as a home assignment. They will need access to magazines or even junk mail to cut up and paste new images and words into their ads; or they may use digital materials from the internet. They may develop a new, even ironic, slogan or copy for the ad. They may replace characters, what they are saying or thinking, or adapt the setting or environment used to sell the product.
  5. The remixed print ads should be presented in a printed hard copy form on 8 ½ x 11 sized paper. Students may also scan and adapt the ad using MS Word or Mac Pages, and save as a PDF or a JPEG.
  6. If they choose to adapt a recorded commercial, the ad can be edited on various movie editing applications, such as iMovie or MovieMaker. However, in lieu of access to technology, students can also act out their script of the commercial for the class.
  7. Encourage the students to be creative and have fun, and to use at least one propaganda strategy for each ad.
  8. The students then makes brief in-class presentations showing or performing the ads they remixed. They should be prepared to explain the choices they made in terms of strategy and the change of elements of the ad (copy, fonts, characters, and colors).
  9. The class should vote on most successful ads. They may be uploaded to the Interact section of website. (You will need to request to set up a Community Group before images can be uploaded.)