For my EDUC 351 class last semester, I created a WebQuest for the students to learn about propaganda as used in WWII. The story I am telling today is about a classroom sitting down to work on that WebQuest and one student’s progress through the assignment. Because the standard I am working with, 7.3, talks about working with media literacy, it made perfect sense to me to work with propaganda and its multimedia myriad ways of expressing itself. In this hypothetical lesson the students are working on, they look at art, writing, and audio to get a better understanding on how propaganda was persuasive and conveyed meaning by carefully choosing words or images.
It was interesting trying to incorporate sound into my lesson and story. I am a very musical person and have written blogs that have their own soundtracks before, but I really liked working with radio audio. It seemed to make the excitement of VJ Day more tangible. It will hopefully express to the students that the people who lived through history were more than just abstract names they read about in their books. I wanted to connect pop culture now to their historical origins, so I pulled in some iconic posters.
“Middle schoolers always knew that it was going to be a good day when the large cart of laptops made an appearance in the back corner of the classroom. They would get to use the computers to help write essays, do research, watch educational videos, or practice taking standardized tests. Ms. Ross, a 7th grade English teacher, told the class that today they be starting research on propaganda used in WWII to introduce the new unit of persuasive writing. She reminded them that the research they found would be used in a paper they needed to write for their social studies class and because of that, they needed to be careful to vet the information they found online. Ms. Ross had provided a list of websites she recommended the students start with, knowing that some of the students would find some the sites to difficult to read while other students wanted more information than some of the other websites gave.
Riley A. Alberta liked learning as much as she could with as little effort as she could possibly spend and so she spent her time using only the first suggested website Ms. Ross provided; luckily, her teacher foresaw this coming and so the very first link was one that provided thorough information while still being able to be understood by most of the 12 or 13 year old kids in the room. The very first image Riley saw was that of the United States of America personified. After browsing through galleries of some American propaganda, she finds an image that she knows quite well. Rosie the Riveter iconography has made a comeback in the feminist communities that Riley knew and supported, and it makes her proud to know that women had their part in the war efforts. Propaganda created in Great Britain is familiar to some of the middle schoolers across the pond, though most don’t know the origin of the slogan that they constantly quote. The website even had a radio broadcast from 1945, so Riley was able to hear the happiness from people who were there on V-J Day. At the end of the lesson, she has learned the origins behind some of what her generation uses as memes, and she will, as teenagers say, Keep Calm & Hope for the Laptop Cart.”
Citations for Images and Sounds:
Beautiful Business Computer Female [Digital image]. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from https://pixabay.com/en/beautiful-business-computer-female-15704/
Bored Female Girl [Digital Image]. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from https://pixabay.com/en/bored-female-girl-people-school-16811/
Barineau. (2012, November 14). Teacher Blue Dress [Digital image]. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from https://openclipart.org/detail/173224/teacher-blue-dress
Bumble_ball. (2014, March 01). Line Drawing of Man at Computer [Digital image]. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from https://openclipart.org/detail/191435/line-drawing-of-man-at-computer
CBS New Reports from Cincinnati [Radio broadcast]. (1945, August 14). In CBS New Reports from Cincinnati. Cincinnati, OH: CBS.
Dunstan, E. (Februrary 26, 2017). Screenshot of The National Archives Website [Digital image].
Every Bond You Buy… [Digital image]. (n.d.). Retrieved February 26, 2017, from https://digitallibrary.tulane.edu/islandora/object/tulane%3A70353 Federal Arts Project of the W.P.A., War Services Program of Louisiana
Gosnell, J. (2012, May 30). Keep Calm and Carry On [Digital image]. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
Hudson, D. (n.d.). We Can Do It Poster [Digital image]. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=76000&picture=we-can-do-it-poster
Jarrett, K. (n.d.). Makeshift Cromebook Cart [Digital image]. Retrieved February 24, 2017, from http://www.everystockphoto.com/photo.php?imageId=18576118&searchId=fef236c7527a99689d1e281dafaecd69&npos=9
Linforth, P. (n.d.). Uncle Sam American Patriotic [Digital image]. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from https://pixabay.com/en/uncle-sam-america-patriotic-1734507/
Oyster, F. (2012, December 08). Old-Fashioned Phillips Wireless [Digital image]. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from https://openclipart.org/detail/206024/oldfashioned-philips-wireless
Witt, M. (2015, September 15). WWII Memorial Washington [Digital image]. Retrieved February 26, 2017, from https://pixabay.com/en/wwii-memorial-washington-dc-marble-937528/