Magazine article School Arts

War Posters

Magazine article School Arts

War Posters

Article excerpt

In art class, we are constantly asking students to express themselves in a personal way. As art teachers, we strive to make each lesson meaningful and relevant to students. With the media attention given to the war in Iraq, we decided to create a lesson in which our high school students could express their opinions on war.

Process

Students were shown posters from World War II. "Rosie the Riveter" and posters created by such artists as Norman Rockwell and Ben Shahn are good examples. These posters can be found on the National Archives website (www.archives.gov) under "Powers of Persuasion--Poster Art of WWII." The website also contains historical and interesting information dealing with the reasons for the creation of the posters. Some recurring themes in these historical images are the power of women in war, patriotism, and conservation of materials.

We discussed how these themes are also significant to current issues. After viewing the posters, students were asked to write down whether they were for or against war. Next, they were asked to give specific reasons or examples supporting their opinion. This ultimately helped students narrow down a specific theme or point to show in their poster.

Students started sketching their ideas with an appropriate slogan in mind. The next day, the class went to the library to research images that would support their poster. A simple Internet search brought up images of flags, soldiers, American icons, oil pumps, etc. …

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