Boston Massacre Propaganda Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What role did propaganda play in the Boston Massacre? This lesson plan uses an informative text lesson to explain this to students. An activity highlights the realities of propaganda at this point in our nation's history.


1 to 1.5 hours

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'propaganda'
  • summarize the events surrounding the Boston Massacre
  • analyze the role of propaganda following the Boston Massacre and leading up to the American Revolution

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).


Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.



  • Begin by writing the word 'propaganda' on the board.
  • Ask students to draft a definition for the word on their own papers.
  • Have the students share their definitions with the class during a discussion as you write key ideas on the board.
  • Pass out the paper copies of the text lesson, one per student.
  • Instruct the class to read the introduction and the 'Propaganda in the American Revolution' section of the text lesson now.
    • How did we do with our definitions of propaganda?
    • Why might propaganda be used so often during times of war?
    • What was the Boston Massacre?
  • Tell the class to read the 'Boston Massacre' section of the text lesson now.
    • How did the Boston Massacre help to set the stage for a propaganda-rich political climate?
  • Have the class read the rest of the text lesson now.
    • How did the propaganda that emerged after the Boston Massacre contribute to the eventual revolution?
  • Pass out the worksheet and ask students to work independently to complete it.


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