ap lit project

I’m trying to learn for my English class and I’m stuck. Can you help?

AP Lit: The Gratitude Workshop

Life can be hard. It’s often busy, stressful, exhausting, challenging, confusing, unpredictable, and, well, hard. But here is the other thing about life: it’s also totally awesome. Oftentimes, the totally awesome gets upstaged by the less-than-awesome. Remember that we are predisposed to fixate on the negative. However, we can strive to be like Paul D, who, even after enduring unthinkable pain and suffering, values and appreciates his blessings when he says about Sethe that, “she is a friend of my mind, man. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order.” His gratitude for Sethe allows him to hope for a better future, and ultimately, encourage Sethe to fight for her own survival. We, too, can zoom in on what we are grateful for and allow God’s light to shine through us and make the world a better place. No small goals here.

Ask yourself this: When was the last time I took a moment out of my busy day to pause and feel grateful for all of the awesomeness that surrounds me?

This year, we read stories of heartbreak and hope. We watched characters persevere through challenges many of us will never face. But we have faced challenges that have

tested us, and we will again. Surviving this quarantine will certainly rank right up there! In the face of enormous obstacles, it is easy to despair. All our blessings and challenges shape us, and we can determine HOW by our attitude towards them. Gratitude invites us to train our minds to see the good and it is an essential human skill.

Step 1:This project is good for your health. It may just save your life. You’re welcome.

  • ● On a sticky note: write one thing that you’re grateful for. Whatever comes to mind first. Don’t overthinkit. Nothing is too big or too small. One word or one sentence. Just write down one thing.
  • ● Watch this video: Teachers tell students how special they are.
  • ● On a new sticky note: write another thing that you are grateful for–whatever comes to mind first. Do notoverthink it. Nothing is too big or two small. One word or one sentence. Just write down one thing.
  • ● (15 minutes) Read a few articles on your own:
    • ○ 5 Scientifically proven benefits of gratitude
    • ○ The 31 Benefits of Gratitude You Didn’t Know About
    • ○ Gratitude Projectfrom UC Berkeley’s “Greater Good” program
    • ○ Get The 10 Habits Used By Positive People To Overcome A Negative Mindset
    • ○ Search “science of gratitude” and find your own!


● On a
Don’t overthink it. Nothing is too big or two small. One word or one sentence. Just write down one thing.

new sticky note: write one more thing that you are grateful for. Whatever comes to mind first.

● Put it all together: Photograph your sticky/make a slide on the assignment slideshow to share what your grateful for with the rest of our class.

Step 2: Investigate the language of film-making

We are going to look at the language of film in preparation for viewing a film with the theme of gratitude. This step will allow us to use the language of film like literary devices/choices–we can see how the director is using these techniques to build meaning, similar to how a writer builds meaning in a novel or poem.

Please see the attached handout to see the myriad ways directors tell their story:

Film Analysis Guide
Step 3: Pick a movie from below and view while taking notes in the template.

Their common element? The theme of gratitude. You may also suggest one that connects to the theme–please email me. View the film as a director and take notes in the template to track how the director tells the story. Notice that film titles are ITALICIZED. 🙂 Once you choose, fill out the parental consent formand submit to the assignment submission slot. As you view the film, take notes in this template.Do not feel obligated to fill in every spot,but it will help you to guide your viewing and take analytical notes.

Shawshank Redemption Planes, Trains, and Automobiles Annie
Life is Beautiful
City Slickers
Mr. Holland’s Opus
Cast Away
The Blind Side
White Christmas
We Bought a Zoo
How to Train a Dragon
Forrest Gump
Finding Nemo
Pursuit of Happiness
It’s a Wonderful Life

Step 4: Film Analysis Paper

Your assignment is to write a short essay in which you explain how the director uses cinematic and/or theatrical elements to illustrate a significant literary element (theme, setting, tone, character, etc.). Your essay will follow the specified essay format with an introduction, thesis, topic sentences, and a conclusion paragraph. You will also want to be sure that you have provided your readers with enough context about the film so they can understand your essay. Do not assume that the reader has seen the film, but do not feel that you need to summarize the film in its entirety. You will use a CDW format for your body paragraphs.

Introduction: Include a lead that grabs the reader’s attention, context of the story for the reader connecting to the cinematic and/or theatrical elements, and a thesis that interprets the director’s use of your two specified elements.

Sample thesis format:
______________ in _______________, uses ____________________ in order to ______________________ Director film cinematic techniques achieve what purpose


Body Paragraph 1Should focus on one cinematic or theatrical element and explore its effect. Body Paragraph 2Should focus on another cinematic element and explore its effect.

ConclusionConsider the following questions to craft your concluding thoughts: What did you say in regard to the director’s work in this essay? What does this interpretive analysis mean? Why does it matter? Point to broader implications and connections to the theme of gratitude.

Step 5:Spread the love. Gratitude is best when shared.
Think of three people you’d like to thank: a peer, a teacher (from any point in school), and a family member.

Step 5: Write! (20 minutes)


Write a paragraph for each of the three people you chose: a peer, a teacher or staff member, and a family member. Show them HOW they have impacted you and/or an example of why you are grateful for them.

NOTE: The peer does not have to go to this school. It does not have to be your best friend! The staff member or teacher can be from any point in your school career.

Structure your paper like this:

  1. Peer: ______________ (name of peer)
  2. Teacher/Staff member: ______________ (name AND the school they work at!)
  3. Family Member: __________________ (name and relationship to you)


Sample letter:
I’m thankful for you because you’ve been a consistent support these last four years. You reached out to me

when I didn’t know anyone here and made me feel welcome. You invited me to lunches and after-work hangouts. We swapped stories about difficult work stuff and challenging personal experiences. And on top of that, you know how to make work fun! You enjoy your students and are always willing to go the extra mile. You give your students your all, listening to them, encouraging them, and letting them be themselves. I’m so thankful for your friendship in and out of work. You’ve been a pivotal role in making this the best job I’ve ever had.

Step 7: SHARE

Share your message! Video record, email, or call to share the message you wrote. Enjoy the happy vibes!!!


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