Thursday, March 25, 2010

Using Nazi and Genocide Propaganda to Teach Persuasive Fallacies

With the help of my awesome library media specialist, Abby Cornelius, I created a PowerPoint Presentation to demonstrate to students how the Nazi regime used different persuasive fallacies to promote their ideas between 1933 and 1945. The librarian was able to find a visual example of each type of persuasion and fallacy that English teachers are supposed to teach to students before they take the Kansas State Reading Assessment (standard and benchmark listed below).

Students were able to see each persuasive technique used in a visual after we had studied both the Holocaust and I after had introduced the different types of persuasive appeals. The PowerPoint presentation was a great visual to enhance how these persuasive methods have been used in history, not just in advertising and editorials, as we had also spent time discussing prior to the Holocaust unit.

I used this at the end of my Holocaust memoir unit and after introducing persuasion throughout Holt Elements of Language, Third Course, text book, but you could easily use it while reading the Holocaust unit and while discussing persuasion. I begin the persuasive unit with ReadWriteThink’s persuasive tools that may be found on their website. The web site says that the lesson was created for elementary students, but I think the resources also work for high school (I use them with freshmen). They have an assignment titled “Persuasion Is All Around You,” a PowerPoint presentation, and worksheets that I utilize and then have students read editorials that I find in the local newspaper as well as look at advertising that uses the different types of persuasion.

Students have demonstrated a good grasp of the types of persuasion at the end of the unit and have expressed a positive attitude about the unit.

State Assessment Benchmark/Indicator



▲identifies the author's position in a persuasive text, describes techniques the author uses to support that position (e.g., bandwagon approach, glittering generalities, testimonials, citing authority, statistics, other techniques that appeal to reason or emotion), and evaluates the effectiveness of these techniques and the credibility of the

information provided.

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