K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education


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Learning outcomes

Students will examine the propaganda used in Erich Maria Remarque’s novel All Quiet on the Western Front and relate it to the propaganda posters from the United States during WWI.

Teacher planning

Time required for lesson

Two days


  • a copy of All Quite on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  • Poster paper, markers, crayon, colored pencils

Technology resources

Computer lab or individual student computers


Students should have read chapter one of All Quiet on the Western Front.

Students should have prior knowledge of propaganda.


  1. Have students define propaganda. Discuss as a class how propaganda is used in the students’ lives.
  2. Look at chapter one in All Quiet on the Western Front. Have students discuss what caused Paul and his friends to join the army. What types of propaganda were used?
  3. Have students find a poster from the military propaganda posters section of DocSouth. Have students discuss the purpose of the poster. Who was the intended audience? What types of propaganda are used?
  4. As a class, discuss how both sides (Germany and the US) used propaganda to get young men to join the army. Would the students join based on the posters? What would make them join the armed forces?
  5. In small groups, have students create a poster that Paul may have seen before joining the army. Be sure to use propaganda in the poster. Have students define propaganda. Discuss as a class how propaganda is used in their lives.


Students should be assessed on participation in activities. Assessment of the poster can be given for completeness and use of propaganda.


This lesson can be used as an extension of the novel or as a free standing lesson.

  • Common Core State Standards
    • English Language Arts (2010)
      • Language

        • Grade 9-10
          • 9-10.L.6 Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when...
        • Speaking & Listening

          • 9-10.SL.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and...

  • North Carolina Essential Standards
    • Social Studies (2010)
      • United States History II

        • USH.H.1 Apply the four interconnected dimensions of historical thinking to the United States History Essential Standards in order to understand the creation and development of the United States over time. USH.H.1.1 Use Chronological thinking to: Identify the...

North Carolina curriculum alignment

English Language Arts (2004)

Grade 10

  • Goal 1: The learner will react to and reflect upon print and non-print text and personal experiences by examining situations from both subjective and objective perspectives.
    • Objective 1.01: Produce reminiscences (about a person, event, object, place, animal) that engage the audience by:
      • using specific and sensory details with purpose.
      • explaining the significance of the reminiscence from an objective perspective.
      • moving effectively between past and present.
      • recreating the mood felt by the author during the reminiscence.
    • Objective 1.02: Respond reflectively (through small group discussion, class discussion, journal entry, essay, letter, dialogue) to written and visual texts by:
      • relating personal knowledge to textual information or class discussion.
      • showing an awareness of one's own culture as well as the cultures of others.
      • exhibiting an awareness of culture in which text is set or in which text was written.
      • explaining how culture affects personal responses.
      • demonstrating an understanding of media's impact on personal responses and cultural analyses.