Exploring Ideologies in Freshman World Studies
This unit, freshmen are learning about World War II in world studies class. Students are investigating the ideology behind World War II, and specifically, the ideology held by the Nazis. Ideology means a set of ideas, beliefs, values, or goals that a person has. Students are currently exploring their own ideologies. They began by completing a checklist of political beliefs that they have, and now, they are creating propaganda posters that represent these beliefs. Propaganda is information that is often misleading or biased. It is designed to play off of people’s emotions and convince them to believe a certain political idea. Some examples of topics that students in Miss Schibelka’s world studies class have chosen are lowering the voting age, making college free for all students, changing gun control policies, and altering income tax requirements. Students have the choice of whether they want to create their posters by hand or if they want to make them on the computer using a website called Piktochart. After students finish making their posters, they will head to the Media Center, where Clemente’s technology specialists, Milton Tanco and Luis Salgado, will help students make their very own propaganda videos, based upon their ideologies. Students will get to write their own scripts, film their videos, and edit their videos using Adobe Premier.
Like all lessons taught at Roberto Clemente Community Academy, the ninth grade world studies propaganda project is based on standards aligned to the International Baccalaureate curriculum. Students are focusing on developing their communication skills, both verbally and through visual media, explaining concepts in detail, thinking critically, and reflecting on past events. Daylynn Phillips, a student in Miss Schibelka’s sixth period world studies class, believes that the skills they are currently learning are not only useful in the short term, but in the long term, as well. “This is the kind of stuff we will have to do in college,” she says with a smile. “And it’s fun to make the posters,” she continues, “because we get to convince people to believe what we believe. That’s important because people need to know about current events.” Students will display their knowledge at the end of the project by performing in a debate about whether or not the United States was justified to end World War II by dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.