Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Andy Griffith Lessons

Andy On a recent visit to my parent’s house, we spent a lot of time watching The Andy Griffith Show. As we watched, I thought about how this show would be great to center lessons around. They just don’t make shows like this anymore and I wish they did. After watching some of the episodes, it could be used for English, History, and Social Skills lessons.

Last night’s episode concerned Andy and Barney taking their girlfriends out on dates along with Goober and his girlfriend. Andy talks about buying black out shades and my husband mentioned that kids today wouldn’t realize what those were. It would be great to talk about world war II and talk about how it impacted everyday lives. Many times we teach about the war but now about how it affected people at home and their daily lives. This would be a great perspective to see this from and learn.

Another thing we noticed was how they dressed for dates. Andy and Barney had jackets and ties while the women wore dresses. It seems like today’s generation doesn’t know how to dress up anymore. Even when we were on our cruises, people would come to the dining room at dinner in t-shirts and shorts, even though it was written for them not to come to dinner like this. It made me sad to think that some of these people felt they had “dressed up” in their finer shorts and t-shirts. This would be a great lesson in talking about appropriate dress for different situations such as job interviews.

It was also interesting that their activities consisted of playing bridge in their living room, going to the movies, or bowling. With the cost of movies today, going to a movie involves a large financial investment. Many teens go hang out at the mall. There aren’t many reasonable safe places for teenagers to socialize any more. This would be a great lesson in talking about this topic and alternatives. Maybe there are some teens that need this discussion and it would encourage them to choose other places than what they originally thought about doing.

There was also a problem with Goober horning in on their double date. This episode showed how they handled the situation. Andy also explained why they should handle it the way they did. It would be great for my class to discuss how they would have handled it differently.

Could you think of other lessons that can be made from this show? Have you ever used a TV show as a basis for your lessons? If so, what do you think would be a great one to use and what kind of lessons do you suggest?

Original image: 'Andy' by: Mark Welker


Alycia said...

I know of one teacher who used Twilight to explain the concept of a conspiracy theory, while teaching conspiracies concerning the JFK assassination. Interesting use I thought!

Amy said...

I attended a Sunday School class that used The Andy Griffith Show as a base for the lessons. The lessons and summaries are listed at

I have also attended professional development inservices that use clips from movies and television. These are usually quite effective at making the point needed.

I think this might be helpful in teaching summarizing and inferencing. I think the most difficult part would be finding appropriate clips to enhance the curriculum.

Liliana said...

Thank you for this article. I got interesting ideas and sites to help me with my lesson plans.