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WWI Propaganda Poster Puzzle

There’s a certain art to propaganda, and in this lesson we’re going to dissect posters to better understand their message.

Here is a piece of sheet music. After you complete the lesson, come back to this image and use the skills you’ve acquired to dissect this image and what it might have been trying to say to people at the time.

Using WWI propaganda posters, we’re going to understand how America went from a nation of neutrality to one that became united in joining the war over in Europe. This idea of neutrality was further underscored by the top song in the spring of 1915: “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier.” However, following key events: the sinking of the Lusitania, explosions in New Jersey munitions factories, and other acts of aggression, President Wilson declared war, and propaganda became a way to rally a nation.

Using images from the Propaganda: Selling a War exhibition, we’re going to practice our document analysis skills. Each propaganda poster has been divided into several sections. By doing this, we are forced to focus on a smaller section and notice more details than if we were looking at the image as a whole.  Use the provided propaganda poster images while following these guiding questions to work through each image section then the image as a whole.

Can’t see the slides? Download them here.

Answer keys available at the bottom of the page.

Answer Keys:
Berlin or Bust
2nd Liberty Loan of 1917
Women Win the War


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