Are you looking for ways to inspire students to have a growth mindset? You are in the right place. This post explains a growth mindset and provides several activities to help students obtain one.
Psychologist Carol Dweck’s research gives us some interesting facts about the fixed versus growth mindset concept. With over 30 years of study at Stanford University, her findings have revolutionized the field of education. So, let’s discover ways to inspire our students to embrace the power of possibility and growth.
According to Carol Dweck’s research, people can be categorized into two mindsets: fixed and growth mindsets. Those with a fixed mindset believe their abilities and intelligence are set in stone. They fear looking incompetent and avoid challenging tasks to avoid potential failure. In contrast, the growth mindset is based on the idea that qualities can be developed and improved through effort and experience. Individuals with a growth mindset see challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. With this understanding, we can explore how to foster a growth mindset in our classrooms and inspire our students to reach their full potential.
Ways Teachers Can Promote a Growth Mindset
- Teach students about the two mindsets, encouraging them to embrace a growth mindset and understand its potential for personal growth.
- Reward students for their effort, emphasizing the importance of perseverance and determination in achieving success.
- Praise students who seek help from others, fostering a culture of collaboration and support in the classroom.
- Inspire students to try new strategies and approaches, showing them multiple paths to success.
- Encourage appropriate risk-taking, even when some tasks may not work out as planned, as growth occurs through these experiences.
Activity #1: Brochure Fold Graphic Organizer
Get the brochure-style organizer from the handout to introduce students to the definitions of fixed and growth mindsets. Inside the brochure, have students list statements that illustrate the thinking patterns of each mindset. This activity will help students grasp the core concepts and set the foundation for further discussions.
Activity #2: YouTube Video Series
“The Power of a Growth Mindset” is a video series created by ClassDojo and Stanford’s PERTS Research Center. It is designed to teach kids about the belief that abilities and intelligence can be developed through effort and learning. The video series consists of five episodes, each featuring a cute monster named Mojo and his friends as they face different challenges and learn how to overcome them.
The video series is suitable for upper elementary students, as it uses simple language, engaging animations, and relatable scenarios to explain the key ideas.
Here are the episodes:
1: Your Brain is Like a Muscle
2: Mojo Bounces Back
3: The Incredible Power of Yet
4: The Mysterious World
5: Mojo Puts it All Together
Activity #3: The Intertwining of Stories
In Lois Lowry’s novel Number the Stars, the protagonist Annemarie intertwines the story of “Little Red Riding Hood” with her own experiences. In this activity, challenge your students to combine two stories as Annemarie did. Provide them with a short story, “The Story of the Engine that Thought It Could,” and an excerpt from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, where Lion jumps over a ditch.
Students must edit The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by adding Lion’s thoughts as if he encourages himself before jumping over the ditch.
This activity allows students to develop their storytelling skills and showcases the power of intertwining narratives and keeping a positive outlook when facing a difficult situation.
Activity #4: Accidental Inventions
In this intriguing research activity, assign each student one accidental invention to explore, from popular foods like potato chips to medical discoveries like penicillin. Students can investigate the inventions that make life easier, such as Teflon, Post-it Notes, and Velcro.
Encourage students to delve into the fascinating stories behind these accidental discoveries and appreciate the power of curiosity and innovation.
Inspire your students to become not only lifelong learners and fearless knowledge explorers; but also leaders with the power of a growth mindset.