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365 Grateful

Posted on January 7, 2014 by kierandonaghy

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This EFL lesson is designed around a project and short film by Hailey Bartholomew titled 365 Grateful. In January 2008, in an effort to fight depression, Hailey started a year long photographic project which involved taking one Polaroid photo a day of something she felt grateful for. Students write sentences about what they are grateful for, watch a short film, discuss gratitude, and create their own gratitude project.

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Language level: Intermediate (B1) – Upper Intermediate (B2)

Learner type: Teens and adults

Time: 90 minutes

Activity: Writing, speaking, watching a short film, and planning a gratitude project

Topic: Gratitude

Language: Grateful for and vocabulary related to gratitude and nature

Materials: Short film and video

Downloadable materials: 365 grateful lesson instructions

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Step 1

Write grateful on the board. Ask students if they know what the word means. Write an example sentence such as:

 

I’m really grateful for being healthy.

Elicit the meaning (feeling or showing thanks).

 

Step 2

Ask students to think about what they have to be grateful for and to write 5 sentences. Give examples such as:

 

I’m grateful for my family.

 

I’m grateful for my friends.

 

I’m grateful for living in a nice house.

 

I’m grateful for having a job.

 

Step 3

When students are ready ask them to explain their sentences to their partner and to compare the things they are grateful for.

 

Step 4

Hold a plenary discussion on what students are grateful for and write up any common themes. Ask them if the things they are grateful for are generally big or small.

 

Step 4

Tell the learners they are going to watch a short film titled 365 Grateful. Ask them what they think the film will be about and what images they will see.

 

Step 5

The first time you show the film ask the learners to see if their predictions were accurate. Show the film.

 

Step 6

Get feedback from the learners on how accurate their predictions were.

 

Step 7

Dictate the following questions to the students:

  • How as Hailey feeling before she started the project?
  • What advice did a nun give to Hailey?
  • Why did Hailey start the project?
  • What has the project taught Hailey?
  • How does Hailey now see nature?

 

Step 8

Ask the students to compare their questions with a partner.

 

Step 9

Tell the students you are going to show the film a second time. This time they should try to answer the five questions. Play the film.

 

Step 10

Get the students to compare and discuss their answers.

 

 

Step 11

Hold a plenary discussion based on these questions:

Why do you think Hailey seems so much happier now than before the project?

How does the film make you feel?

Do you like the project?

 

Step 12

Tell the students you would like them to consider doing a project, but that there is no obligation; they should only do it if they want to.  They should consider doing the project which most appeals to them. Suggest doing one of the following projects:

  • Write one sentence a day during a month about something you feel grateful for.
  • Take one photo a day during a month of something you feel grateful for. You should also write a sentence saying why you feel grateful.
  • Take a one-second video using your mobile phone a day during a month of something you feel grateful for. You should also write a sentence saying why you feel grateful.

 

You might like to show this short video in which we see moments Hailey recorded on a summer holiday as an example of the one-second videos.

If the students feel comfortable doing one of the projects, they should do so and then at the end of the month create a journal with their thirty sentences, a PowerPoint presentation of their thirty photos or a compilation video of their thirty one-second videos.

 

With the permission of the students you could show the journals, PowerPoints and videos to the rest of the class.

 

If the students enjoy the project suggest doing it for a whole year!

 

I hope you enjoy the lesson.

 

Support Film English

Film English remains ad-free and takes many hours a month to research and write, and hundreds of dollars to sustain. If you find any joy or value in it, please consider supporting Film English with a monthly subscription, or by contributing a one-off payment.

Monthly subscription

One-off payment

29 thoughts on “365 Grateful

  1. Really great lesson plan! Thanks for your time and effort and for sharing. I start a new ESL instructor position for low advanced students next week and this lesson plan seems appropriate, but won’t know for sure until I meet my students!

  2. Great project. I am going to use it with my students and I think it can be adapted to any language level. Thank you.

  3. Hi Kieran ,
    I’m really grateful for all your intersesting lesson plans and inspiring ideas . I’m a doctoral student in the field of teaching EFL wiauthentic videos . I would be very hgappy if you accept to be my co-supervisor and advcise me concerning my research entitled “Developing EFL learners’ pragmatic competence through film viewing and awareness raising activities”
    cheers

    • Hi Houda,
      Thanks for the kind words. I’m not sure I’m in a position be your your co-supervisor on your PhD. Send me an email message to the address on the Contact page.
      All the best,
      Kieran

  4. Really creative and helpful.Guess it doesn´t only help stds improve their English, but it helps them change perspectives. I just love activities like this one.
    Congrats.

  5. I just taught my advanced ESL class yesterday and we watched this video and made a project of posting a video on instagram about three things they are grateful for. they LOVED it. Thank you for the awesome activity this is.

  6. I’m really grateful… I’m thinking of doing the project with my students and even at home with my children!!!

  7. Pingback: Today I’m grateful… for being inspired by my job. [04.02.14] | Jenni Vs. The World

  8. I’m honestly grateful for your lesson plans and ideas. Thanks again for sharing and inspiring. I did a 15-day-grateful project with my students and it worked really well, with very moving and creative results. They got engaged from the very beginning and even some of the demotivated students came up with something. So, I owe you one … or more than one!

  9. Pingback: Films clips etc | Pearltrees

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