Grade Level/Unit
Grade 7 -- The Protestant Reformation

Length of Lesson

Depending on the artistic strength of your students, you may want to increase the amount of time necessary to complete this lesson.

Done completely, this lesson could last 2-4 weeks. Extensions from this could be applied any number of ways from other commercial productions, to one act plays etc. The key thing to remember is that non-verbal communication is the focus.

Lesson Purpose

To understand propaganda and how it is used both in the past and today's times.


History-Social Science Standards Grade 7: Students trace the historical development of the Reformation and compare the aspirations and experiences of men and women to other times and places, with emphasis on the effects of the theological, political, and economic differences that emerged and the influence of religious conflicts on government actions.

Language Arts Standards Grade 7 Reading Comprehension: Students read and understand differences among various categories of informational materials.

Preparation for the lesson

Before you begin the project you may want to cover the topic of propaganda so it will be readily identifiable to the students. A key ingredient to this whole project is the idea of non-verbal communication and in order for your student's project to be similar to that of Martin Luther, they need to follow his lead.

This website has an activity on commercials that will help to prepare students for recognizing techniques of persuasion used by advertisers.


This site gives clear explanations of the different techniques used in propaganda, many of which are used in advertising and could be incorporated into the visuals that the students are creating.


NOTE: The 1998 film Wag the Dog portrays the calculated use of media to markedly sway public opinion. Excerpts from this film, especially the "Bosnian Survivor" computer generated scene might be useful. Carefully edit this "R" rated film.

Interdisciplinary Connections


This will be a good opportunity for those students who normally struggle with routine assignments but excel in art to express themselves in a positive way.

Adaptations for Special Needs Students

This lesson will allow for success for most students, in that there are many opportunities for successful conclusions. You may modify, eliminate or change any part of the lesson to suit the needs of your students.