International Baccalaureate students in Individuals and Society classes are normally assessed on their ability to communicate using claims, evidence, and reasoning. For Unit 5, however, students were asked to be open minded to communicate using propaganda. Students spent the unit studying different types of propaganda; for example, they studied commercials, World War II historical posters, and present-day propaganda through Tweets and writing.
After students demonstrated that they were able to identify examples of propaganda, they were asked to reflect on where else they had observed propaganda. Consistently, the freshmen mentioned the Presidential Campaign in 2016 is where they had seen the most propaganda. Therefore, students were able to study one actual Presidential Debate in 2016 and use a class set of iPads and the iMovie feature to create propaganda movies based on the debate. Students used music, sound effects, different color techniques, different framing and camera shots, and subtitles to create an advertisement for or against either candidate. The movies were around two minutes long and communicated a strong message on students’ opinions of the election.
Finally, the students were able to create their own propaganda movies. Using current day issues such as public school funding, legalization of marijuana, school rules, politicians, and different laws, students were able to create a three-minute movie about their chosen issues. Initially, students created movie scripts using the skills they learned in English about how to write a story. They used rising action, climax, and falling action in the script and then eventually in the movie. Finally, the students were able to film the movies using iPads and edit them on iMovie, as well. Students were able to create final products that displayed communication in a convincing way. Many students said this was their favorite unit of the year because they enjoyed working with technology and being able to display their skills with a movie.
Moving forward, students will be working on rebellion and protest throughout history, as well as analyzing when it is acceptable for students to rebel and protest. Students will be incorporating past lessons and applying the principles from those lessons to their lives today.