History KS2: How propaganda was used during World War Two

This short film explains how people were persuaded to join the war effort, and the importance of motivational campaigns.

We hear from an eye-witness called Gladys, who talks about seeing propaganda posters during World War Two.

The ‘Did You Know’ section looks at how propaganda was used in response to the rescue of soldiers from Dunkirk.

Created in partnership with Imperial War Museums.

Teacher Notes

Your pupils could be tasked with making their own motivational posters to galvanize others around an issue that is important to them.

Additional fact for the class:

  • The “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster you might have seen was designed in 1939 in anticipation of the outbreak of war in Britain. However, in the end it was never officially issued to the public as a propaganda poster. It was one of a set of three posters, the other two being "Your courage, your cheerfulness, your resolution will bring us victory" and "Freedom is in peril, defend it with all your might" both of which were pasted on public billboard sites. But their message was unpopular and the now well-known third poster was never used.

Curriculum Notes

Suitable for teaching history at KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 2nd Level in Scotland.

This short film could also can be incorporated into different subjects as part of a cross-curricular lesson, especially when teaching English at KS2 or 2nd Level.

More from World War Two:

Britain declares war on Germany
Rationing in the UK
Geography of World War Two
The Blitz
The Battle of Britain and beyond
Machines of the military
Codebreaking during World War Two
VE Day