Link to the Lesson Plan

Lesson Description: This lesson will focus on the Prohibition period in American History. The Simpsons episode "Homer vs. The Eighteenth Amendment" will be used to introduce the concept of Prohibition to the students. Students will first discuss the topic of prohibition, or banning alcohol, then they will watch the episode. During the viewing of the episode the students will complete a viewing guide, which will also partially serve as a graphic organizer for their notes on the topic.

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The Simpsons in Social Studies Lesson Plan

Author: Brian Adams

Subject: American History

Topics Covered: Prohibition


This lesson will both introduce and teach students about the Prohibition period in American history. The episode Homer vs. The 18th Amendment will be used as a supplement to other resources either online or in a book.

Lesson Essential Question(s)

· What was reason behind the passage of the 18th Amendment, and what happened as a result of the law?


· Pennslyvania State Standards for History

o 8.1.A

o 8.3.C


· The Simpsons 8th Season. Episode Homer vs. the 18th Amendment.

· Viewing Guide

· Graphic Organizer


· Introduction

o Have students come up with a list of ways/reasons in which alcohol can be considered detrimental to society. (Spousal abuse, work problems, public drunkenness/fighting, alcohol poisoning, etc.)

§ After discussing how alcohol can hurt society, discuss whether or not people would object to banning alcohol to avoid the problems the students already said it caused.

§ Create another list that discusses why people may or may not favor a ban.

§ Have students create a short (1 paragraph) response to the following question:

· Describe what would happen if it were suddenly discovered that Prohibition was still in action today. After students have completed this, have volunteers provide their answers.


1. Explain that the class will be viewing an episode of The Simpsons that addresses the question they just responded to in their paragraphs.

2. Ask the class if they can identify the names of the family members in The Simpsons, then any other townspeople that might be concerned about a ban on alcohol.

3. Have the students predict what will happen if prohibition comes to Springfield.

4. Distribute the “Viewing Guide” for The Simpsons episode “Homer vs. the 18th Amendment”. Go over the questions to make sure the students know what to answer.

5. Start the video and have students answer The Simpsons part of the viewing guide while watching.

6. Pause the video in the middle and have the students predict what will happen.

7. After the video go over the episode by having the students provide answers and anecdotes from the episode.

8. Use the book, internet, or whatever resource you prefer to show the students what happened during the actual prohibition period.


o Students should write a paragraph explaining how the episode of The Simpsons can help them learn about Prohibition.

Viewing Guide