Naval History and Heritage Command

Hampton Roads Naval Museum

Teacher’s Guide to the World War II Propaganda Resource Center


The goal of this program is to advance student knowledge about history and research by giving students access to secondary and primary sources. In the end, the students should be able to engage their analytical abilities to better understand history and historical research. In this case, the focus is strictly on WWII propaganda in the form of cartoons and posters.


The program breaks down the analysis process into four stages: reaction, identify, decipher, and critique. Each cartoon has its own learning module. While some activities are consistent in every module, some have different resources than others. In each module, there are numerous resources for students to engage with, such as tutorials, articles, and WWII images.


The resource hub are meant to give students the freedom to explore certain topics about WWII. However, it is important that students come away with a basic understanding of certain concepts, and they can apply their skills so teachers will have a means to identify the student’s level of comprehension. The program was created for teachers' use, meaning it is up to the teacher as to how he or she uses the resource hub, and the way work is dispersed to students. Not every activity needs to be completed.


If you have limited time, we highly recommend using the cartoons “Education for Death” (anti- German propaganda) and “You’re a Sap, Mr. Jap” (anti-Japanese propaganda) with your students.


Furthermore, while allowing students to freely explore the resource hub, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum does have some recommendations on how students can have the best learning experience possible. Please see the recommended order of activities.



1.    First, students should watch the introduction that covers the “what” and “why” regarding propaganda.


2.    Along with the introduction video, you will find a guide for deciphering cartoons. We recommend the students read this before                        watching the cartoons.


3.     We encourage teachers to include the program in their lesson plans after students have been given an introduction to WWII. However,           there are overviews about the two main theaters that are included in the resource hub.


4.    Watch the cartoon from beginning to end.


5.    Decipher activity


6.     Critique activity