The Twilight Zone tackled a diversity of social issues and political statements not seen in shows of its time. Its creator, Rod Serling (himself a Unitarian), believed that controversial messages and dialogues were needed to get a point across, and purposely created a science fiction show to get such messages past corporate censors. The result was five seasons of timeless episodes that resonate as strongly today as they did in the late fifties and early sixties.
The Fifth Dimension uses episodes of The Twilight Zone as the basis for in-depth discussions of a wide variety of 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 activities. It is entirely possible to lead a class with little to no 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 easy to obtain (not included with curriculum) through streaming or on DVD. Streaming provides the most economical way to purchase individual episodes, costing only a couple of dollars each, and with episodes currently free for Amazon Prime subscribers.
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.
Note: this curriculum has been updated to reflect the 2023 revision to Article II of the UUA Bylaws and Rules.
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