The animated show The Simpsons is unique in that its characters are often seen attending church. In fact, religion is a dominant theme of this popular show. The family is often seen praying to God, and the show seems to be acutely aware of the significant place religion has in the American landscape.
The show satirizes religion, but is not seen as anti-religious, as the Simpsons themselves are Christian and some are spiritual in nature. Most episodes call for a sensible, tolerant and less fanatical religious devotion. Although the show mocks religion, it is not dismissive of faith, and has wide acceptance among those that practice religion, probably because the show targets all kinds of hypocrisies, not just religious ones.
D’oh, God! uses episodes of The Simpsons as the basis for in-depth discussions of a wide variety of religious topics. At each class, an entire episode is viewed, a distinct advantage when discussion is the intention. After viewing, the class engages in discussion and activities, designed to encourage deep contemplation of issues.
This curriculum is very easy to teach and to administer. The lesson guide provides an outline of each episode followed by discussion questions and activitites. It is entirely possible to lead a class with minimal preparation.
Students are quickly, and deeply, engaged in the topics, and become active participants in class discussions. Students react with enthusiasm, generating provocative discussion and interaction.
For directors and coordinators, the episodes are all easily obtainable. All are available on DVD, most of which can be purchased used, and some are also available for streaming.
Lessons are appropriate for either a classroom or youth group setting. Included with your purchase are PowerPoint presentations that can be edited as needed. PowerPoint has proven to be a valuable tool with this age group to keep the class engaged.
View list of episodes.
See sample class.
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