July 17, 2019
By Meena Srinivasan

Lesson plan

Growth Mindset

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Students will watch a video, participate in a discussion, and complete an activity in order to be able to define and practise having a growth mindset.

(20 minutes)
  • Bring the class together in a circle, either standing or seated.
  • Explain that today, we will be looking at ways we face challenges and will start the class with an activity.
  • Give all students the rope tied into knots.
  • Tell them that their goal is to untie every knot from the rope in two minutes.
  • Ask students to begin, and set a timer.
  • Optional: Play the song "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor.
  • As the students attempt to untie the knots, ask them to notice their thoughts and their mindset. Are they thinking "I can't do this" or "This is easy"?
  • Tell them when they have 20 seconds left.
  • Turn off the music once the two minutes are up, and tell the class to stop where they are.
  • Ask them to notice if they feel disappointed, or if they have disappointing thoughts because they didn't finish. Or do they feel proud for successfully completing the task?
  • Explain that today they will be learning about and discussing "growth mindset."
  • Ask them to raise their hands if they have heard the term "growth mindset" before.
  • Write "Growth Mindset" on the board.
  • Ask the students what they think the words mean.
  • Next, write "Fixed Mindset" on the board, and ask the class if they have heard this term before.
  • Ask them what they think "fixed mindset" means.
  • Play the video "Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset."
  • As they watch the video, ask the students to take notes describing each mindset.
  • After the video, have everyone come up to the board and write at least one thing they learned about each mindset (under where you previously wrote "Growth Mindset" and "Fixed Mindset").
  • Ask student volunteers to come up and review what the class wrote on the board.
  • Share and write the following definition of Growth mindset: When a person believes they can develop and learn with hard work and dedication, and they see failure as a learning opportunity.
(15 minutes)
  • Tell students that they will participate in an activity called "Back-to-Back, Face-to-Face" to talk about what they have learned about growth and fixed mindsets.
  • Ask students to find a partner and to stand back-to-back, being safe in each other's space.
  • Read one growth or fixed statement aloud to the class (see below).
  • Ask students to think about what they would like to say or share with their partner about the statement.
  • Say, "face-to-face."
  • Ask partners to face each other and decide who will speak first.
  • Ask the listening partner to listen carefully to their classmate.
  • Allow time for both partners to share.
  • Use the following statements to guide this activity:
    1. “I am interested in outcomes and being ‘good’ at something, not the process I take through learning." Does this statement represent a fixed or growth mindset, and why?
    2. Give an example of a time you used growth mindset? How was this an example of growth mindset?
    3. Give an example of an imaginary person who uses a fixed mindset. What thoughts do they have, and what words do they use when faced with a challenge?
    4. “I can’t do this….yet” is a statement that shows growth mindset. Where is an area in your life you say this, or would like to say this, to remember that your brain is always ready to learn and grow, even amidst difficulties? Why would you like it in this area of your life?
    5. Repeat these phrases in your mind after me: “I learn from mistakes…” (Pause.) “I thrive when challenged or stretched…” (Pause.) “I try hard…” (Pause.) Notice what this feels like in your body to say these things. Where do you feel it in your body? How does this make you feel?
(10 minutes)
  • Bring the class into a circle again.
  • Review the statements, and ask if anyone would like to share something about these statements with the class.
  • Ask the students how a growth mindset may help us in school, in relationships, and in life.
  • Tell the class that they will be working in small groups to write and perform skits that describe and illustrate growth vs. fixed mindsets.
  • Review the checklist on the Growth vs. Fixed Mindset worksheet, which lists the criteria for their skits.
  • Ask the class if they have any questions.
(25 minutes)
  • Assign partners, and dismiss them back to their seats to work on their skits.
  • Move around the room to check students' comprehension of instructions and projects.

Enrichment:Students may create a song about growth mindset to share with the class, or to place in their skit.

Support:Choose student pairs for the the "Back-to-Back, Face-to-Face" activity. If these partners work well together, they may stay together for the entire activity.

(5 minutes)
  • Observe students during the independent working time.
  • Have them present their skits to assess their comprehension of growth vs. fixed mindsets.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask all students to come back together in a circle.
  • Explain that they will all present their skits to the class at another time.
  • Ask them when they may use a growth mindset today, or sometime in the upcoming week.
  • Ask the class to consider the words they think or say out loud. Are they representing a growth mindset? If not, tell the students that they have the ability tho change their thoughts, change their words, and in essence, change their life.

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