Lesson Plan on Persuasion in Politics

Don’t we all love political ads? (Sarcasm.) There’s nothing better than being bombarded with blatant propaganda during the month of October as candidates vie for our votes on television, radio, and social media. This one, used a couple of years back during the senate race in Pennsylvania, was one of my favorites:

“He’s not looking out for the average Joe!”

However, some of our students may not recognize these ads as propaganda. They may evaluate candidates based on any number of random reasons–whose name they like better, whose ad plays better music, etc. Especially for our students who are creeping ever closer to voting age, we need to teach them about how to critically examine these ads by identifying the persuasive techniques that are at play, as well as other media enhancements (light, color, sound, etc.) being strategically used to mess with our heads. After this 50- minute lesson on persuasion in politics, your students will never look at political ads (or any ads, for that matter) in quite the same way!

Persuasion Lesson


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