My son has been LOVING doing research papers. He’s just finished a rather significant one of poison gas, and as he finished he asked “what’s next mom?” I mentioned we hadn’t talked about propaganda and how it was handled during the war and he was immediately intrigued. Since it was our research week we set to.
First we Watched Videos
Three types of propaganda
- Homefront – for people at home
- Front – to increase morale among your troops andweaken it in the enemy
- Foreign – to counter the propaganda of the enemy
Censorship and propaganda often went hand in hand.
It was thought that film could easily be used as a method of propaganda even though it was still fairly new. But it was very difficult to get film of war battles. They needed permission, subject to censorship, hard to carry and set up, and light sensitive (most battles happened at night).
Posters were most often directed at men with national emblems surrounding a healthy modern Canadian man. Shaming posters were also used.
We enjoyed the sheer variety in the posters. From the Victory Bond posters, to the enlist now. The different units like the Canadian Irish Rangers. We noted that some WW2 posters were slipped in as well.
You want to show the enemy as beatable, and yet you also want to show him as formidable. Finding that balance was often difficult.
Then we took to the books
He read selections from these books.
My goal was to have him research one of the foci of propaganda and then do up a poster showing what he learned. He wants to do this BUT he also wants to write a paper. I imagine it will take him two weeks to be happy with his research and the paper he comes up with. In the meantime I will learn lots about wartime propaganda! 🙂