Not since the War of 1812, when British forces set fire to the United States Capitol, have the halls of power in Washington been overtaken by violent intruders as they were on January 6. As the world watched this tableau of violence and mayhem live, teachers immediately realized that the ordinary curriculum would need to give way. TheNew York Times Learning Network offers dozens of freelesson plan ideas, activities and Times materials—articles, photos, videos, opinion pieces, graphics and more—for exploring the causes and consequences of the assault on democracy in the United States. The Learning Network also offers an invitation to students to join the conversation. On January 6, students were asked, “What Are Your Reactions to the Storming of the Capitol by a Pro-Trump Mob?” and already more than 300 teenagers have posted their thoughts. The Times would like to hear from your students too.
In this ReadWriteThink lesson, students read or view a literary text, and then identify and discuss examples of propaganda techniques in the text. Students then explore the use of propaganda in popular culture by looking at examples in the media.
PBS affiliate WETA has made available a list of propaganda techniques that make false connections (such as the techniques of “transfer” and “testimonial”), or constitute special appeals (such as “bandwagon” and “fear”), or are types of logical fallacy (for example, “unwarranted extrapolation”).
The Mind Over Media web platform gives students aged 13 and up an opportunity to explore the subject of contemporary propaganda by hosting thousands of examples of 21st-century propaganda from around the world.