This activity is designed with the busy teacher in mind! It can be spread out over 2 weeks of class time (I teach in 45 minute periods) or completed in a week if questions are assigned for homework. Since the movie is rated PG a permission slip is included to send home with students. While watching the movie, students answer questions that will help them understand the change that the character, Walter Mitty, is going through. Then, students will analyze the themes in the movie (a list of possible themes generated by my students is included!) and prepare to write a 5 paragraph essay. In their essays students will state a theme from the movie and use details to explain their thinking. Then, students will read/listen to the original short story and compare the events of that story to their chosen theme. Finally, students will research other movies/books/songs with the same or similar theme and explain why the themes are similar.
- As we watch the movie we will examine the character of Walter Mitty, looking closely at how he changes over time. We will know we are successful when we can answer the questions in the packet and participate in discussions, building on the thinking of others.
- We will examine the themes and messages in the movie using evidence to support our theories. We will know we are successful when we can write about our selected theme using examples from the movie and from other movies/books to support our thinking.
This activity requires viewing of the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty:
Ben Stiller directs and stars in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, James Thurber's classic story of a day-dreamer who escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker (Kristen Wiig) are threatened, Walter takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined. (c) Fox.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, is an inspiring, seize-the-day tale. It is full of hope, with a can-do, go-big-or-go-home message that's backed by sensational special effects. The main character, Walter Mitty, is a positive role model. He’s tired of being too careful, so when an opportunity arises that allows him to push past his limitations and help the magazine he has worked for and loved for so long, he finally goes for it.
- Worksheets with 15 higher-level thinking discussion questions
- Links to videos that will prompt further thinking
- Essay planning worksheets