Lesson Spotlight: W.W.1 Propaganda Posters

In this lesson, we took a look at the role that propaganda played in the First World War. We looked at a range of different posters that were used to persuade the people of the UK and Ireland to either join or support the war effort. After this, we had a look at designing our own propaganda poster. Some chose to design posters that would support the war effort, while others designed posters that opposed the war effort! You can download everything you need to try this lesson down at the bottom of the post!

The Lesson


W.A.L.T: Share the learning objective of the lesson with the group.

Assessing Prior Knowledge: Ask what propaganda means? Try to come up with a definition.

Direct Teaching: Explain the definition of propaganda. Explain what it was used for during W.W.1. Explain the role that war artists played in propaganda.

Examining Primary Sources: Look at a range of propaganda posters from the British Isles. While looking at the posters, try to identify who the target audience is, what the message was and evaluate whether it was effective or not. Repeat this for a few different propaganda posters.

Linking to Modern Day: Ask if there are places where you can see propaganda or something similar to propaganda in the modern world?

Poster Designing: Choose either a pro-war or an anti-war stance. Design a propaganda poster that will encourage people to either support the war effort or fight against it. Can use either provided slogans or make up their own.

How Did It Go?

Overall the response and quality of understand demonstrated was really good! Most chose to make up their own slogan rather than use one of the provided ones. The variety and creativity in the poster designs was excellent, with very few choosing to create a poster similar to those they saw in the video. Below are a sample of a few different pro-war posters.

The option to create an anti-war poster added an extra challenge to those who wanted it. They really had to use the knowledge that they gained about how propaganda worked to try and create a poster to polar opposite to the ones they had seen in the video. There is a really good example of this knowledge demonstrated in the poster below!

What would I change?

Given the fact that this was distance learning lesson, there is plenty I would change if I was to do this as an in person, hands on lesson. One change that would be good to include regardless of how the lesson is delivered, would be the inclusion of some sort of self-assessment or peer-assessment rubric to check the effectiveness of their posters. Overall though, I think the lesson and activities nicely achieved the learning objective of the lesson. So we can call this one a success!

Click Here For Lesson Resources and Plans

Rang Maher