The divisive 2016 election prompted Urbana Junior High School teachers to give students a practical project tied to history.
Eighth grade American History students in Amanda Goodwin, Sadie Steffan and Christa Baldwin’s classes learned about propaganda, which is designed to promote a viewpoint or change opinions. Then the teachers thought students could get some real-world tie-in with the concept, though directing it toward unity.
Students created propaganda promoting unity across America.
“With the highly contested election that occurred this year and the friction occurring between political parties, students were asked to create propaganda that would convince Americans to put aside their differences and focus on unity,” Steffan said.
Students studied famous historical examples of propaganda, such as prints by Benjamin Franklin during the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War, which were developed to inspire American colonists to unify. One hundred seven students participated, creating their own propaganda. Students and staff voted for their favorites.
The winner of the project was Paige Deere, with close runner-ups that included Harmony Stewart, Katherine Brazille, Austyn Bunn, Gatlin Ridgwell and Hailey McCain, Steffan said.
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.