15 Growth Mindset Lesson Plans You Can Use

The growth mindset is picking up steam every day. Notably, many teachers are inclined to employ the growth mindset in youthful learners. Possessing a growth mindset dares you to transcend limitation and negativity—it inspires determination when facing difficulties, perseverance when confronted with failure, and attention to what’s feasible to attain. Let’s take a look at 15 awesome growth mindset lesson plans that you can use.

With all these factors and more, a growth mindset is among the most invaluable attitudes you can nurture in your children.

You only need the appropriate tools to begin growth mindset activities for your little ones. It doesn’t matter if you’re carrying out these activities in the classroom or at home; these growth mindset lesson plans offer stimulating and fun avenues for studying the growth mindset in the youthful years.

15 Growth Mindset Lesson Plans

1. Build from Negative to Positive Mindset

This is an excellent introductory exercise. It familiarizes children with the growth mindset language and assists them in understanding how to build the mental shift by changing their inner voice.

Write a list of limiting or negative statements you can sometimes make about yourself (for example, “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not ⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽⎽”). Next, tell them how to spin the phrase positively by simply changing the language you use.

Through this, kids will begin making simple links on altering their communication, thereby improving how they feel about themselves. Note down other sentences and encourage your kids to attempt them and practice what they’ve learned.

Below is a list of some straightforward examples of limiting or negative statements to start with that your kids can turn around quickly by making mere alterations:

  • “I don’t think highly of myself.”
  • “I’m not strong.”
  • “I don’t have great ideas.”
  • “I’m not bright enough to accomplish that.”
  • “I’m not able to _____.”
  • “I’m not an extraordinary individual.”

2. Change their Language

Fixed mindset vs growth mindset. By shifting your phrasing, students learn to alter their language to elevate their mindsets to development-oriented from growth-averse.

Carol Dweck, an American psychologist, states that students with a fixed mindset view poor performance as a reproach of their potential.

You can assist them to see the struggle as an opportunity to improve understanding and skills. Language — written, thought, and spoken — is an instrument to achieve this goal.

Fixed MindsetGrowth Mindset
There’s no way to improve on this situationThere’s a chance to upgrade with the correct approach
This is so hardTime to attempt a few strategies we were taught
I committed a mistake againJust one more opportunity to learn
This’ll attain the marks I requireI can add extra information to this answer
I’m not great at this subject matterI’m not great at this subject matter yet

3. Use Success Folders

Students can find it hard to keep track of their achievements and progress through the year or semester.

You can tackle this problem using success folders, giving first-hand proof of growth.

What is a success folder? A success folder helps track how the learners nurture a growth mindset. Use the following procedure for success folders:

  • Make the folders. Allocate a folder to each student — yes, the type made of stiff paper or cardboard. Ask the students to write a brief story or draw a picture depicting their success concepts.
  • Individualize the folders. Give students time every week or day to include personal instances of successful learning in their folder. Some examples can be a synopsis of tasks they accomplished, assignments and tests they nailed, and descriptions of new theories they learned. 
  • Review the folders. At the beginning of every week, make the students go through the success folders to start the week on a great note. This motivates them to look back on their achievements, giving proof of progress.

Give it a try to find out how a simple folder can inspire a growth mindset in a school setup.

4. Teach Students How to Expand Answers

You should engage your students and ask them to clarify their thoughts in the course of discussions to help you know the things they do and don’t comprehend. It also encourages them to process information deeper and think about their responses.

This shows a vital feature of a growth mindset — subject matter proficiency isn’t innate but developed. Give students chances to expand and share their concepts by running:

  • Question and answer periods after presentations — motivate students to shoot questions to the presenter, enabling them to go over important points.
  • Problem-based learning scheme (PBL) — These activities enable students to come together and share concepts, whether in large or small groups.

As students continue elaborating their responses and thoughts, they should boost comprehension of subject matter and distinctly see the values of critical thinking and effort.

5. Create a Self-Awareness Checklist

The growth mindset signifies possessing a strong sense of yourself. It means identifying your weaknesses and strengths, how to improve, what motivates you, and the things that stress you.

Through this exercise, kids will understand how self-awareness can lead to self-improvement in several areas. 

You can accomplish this by posing the questions orally or noting them down. While asking the questions, encourage students to think about the type of questions and provide the most genuine answers they come up with.

  • I think I’m strong in the sectors of _____.
  • I feel most comfortable when _____.
  • I require the most help with _____.
  • I feel stressed when _____.
  • I feel I’m weak in the sectors of _____.
  • I acquire knowledge well when I _____.
  • I feel _____ makes me uncomfortable.
  • I feel most comfortable requesting assistance by _____.

6. Try the Crumple Exercise

Next in our growth mindset lesson plans are crumple exercises show students two things:

  • The ability to see errors positively
  • Uncomfortable sentiments are valid

Have learners note down a mistake they committed that day on a paper. Then tell them to crumple the notepaper into a ball and toss it at the board or wall as close as they can come by the identical feeling they experience when making a mistake.

After one minute, tell them to fetch the paper, unfold it and see their mistake one more time. 

While looking at what they put down, convince them to come to terms with the fact that everyone makes mistakes, regardless of how hard we try or our status in society.

When they start accepting this, guide them to elaborating aloud what improvements they can make to achieve better results next time and how to handle the situation when they make a mistake again. 

The last step is to tell them to crumple the paper once more and discard it for good this time—signifying the mistake as a thing of the past and isn’t critical anymore.

To introduce fun, you can make the learners say a word out loud when they do this, like “Next!”, “Done,” “Goodbye!”

7. Teach Students on Values of Challenges

According to Dweck, clarifying the inherent gains of conquering obstacles can assist learners in acquiring a growth mindset.

She recommends educating about the impact on the brain when individuals get out of their comfort zones to grasp challenging concepts.

The neurons create stronger connections, gradually leading to increased intelligence. From this, you should learn that difficulty and effort aren’t roadblocks but are paths to being smarter.

A study conducted by Dweck indicated that middle school learners in a control group who learned this lesson achieved a clear improvement in mathematic scores over two years.

The group that viewed intelligence as fixed evidenced a decrease.

As per the outcome, teaching the extensive benefits of developing a growth mindset can affect learners positively.

8. Get Them Started on Simple Gamification Elements

Gamification—the application of video game elements to teaching—can quickly point out student performance and improvement instead of highlighting mistakes.

To be more specific, you can change how you grade test and assignment scores. You can award experience points (XP) scores instead of using letter grades or percentages to grade tests.

For instance, if a student gets 85% on a test, you can award him 8,500 points. You can also award XP points for completed assignments or participation in the classroom that displays an interest in learning.

 Awarding XP points may motivate learners to take up extra-curricular work, just like how they finish missions and quests in video games.

9. Employ Diverse Teaching Methods

Dwek states that students exposed to different teaching techniques accumulate a repertoire of learning skills that can assist them in dealing with a variety of challenges.

You can utilize different instructional techniques and concepts to diversify the material you present and how students understand it, as well as how they exhibit knowledge:

  • Products: Allow students to show how they understand the material through assignments, tests, and projects. For instance, you can assign learners an open project that they can complete as an artistic production, an essay, or a presentation.
  • Processes: Allow learners to work in small groups, pairs, and individually.
  • Content: During your lessons, use audio clips, videos, books, and presentations where applicable. You can deliver material in a single class using learning stations.

Broadening your teaching techniques allows learners to sharpen their scope of skills and helps them tackle various learning challenges. For example, many mathematics teachers use different math games to broaden their traditional teaching techniques.

It is important to note that employing diverse teaching techniques in a conventional classroom seating arrangement can be difficult. A flexible seating arrangement in the classroom can help you overcome environmental challenges that you might encounter in your learning environment.

10. Sheer Effort—Don’t Praise Intelligence

Suppose your only focus is on essentially celebrating sheer effort and intelligence instead of recognizing the need for trying new methods and planning. In that case, you run the risk of discouraging growth.

You can reinforce intelligence as a fixed trait by complementing it. And, even though an effort is associated with a growth mindset, explicitly acknowledging it can go wrong.  

For instance, telling learners to “just continue trying” when they do not reach their academic goals may make them feel inept.

Instead, give an evaluation that emphasizes the importance of trying different learning approaches and planning:

Fixed MindsetGrowth Mindset
You tried your best, and that is all you can accomplish.Don’t be alarmed if you don’t comprehend something from the word go. Instead, concentrate on your next steps. What should these steps be?
If you continue trying, you’ll get these types of questions in the long run.Try using a different approach if you don’t comprehend these questions. You may be capable of writing them out or drawing them.
  You did a good job! You’re so intelligent!Excellent job! The study plan you created assisted you a lot. You should make another one for your following quiz.

Feedback and praise can impact how learners perceive the learning process. Therefore, your strategy can either push them near or further away from developing a growth mindset.

11. Explain to Students the Importance of Abstract Skills

Are you teaching a unit with many theoretical concepts and skills? Inculcating a growth mindset will help your learners take on more work.

This is because if many of your learners grapple with deducing a concept’s practical applications, they may not see the use in bettering their grasp of that concept. In case you feel this is the case with a particular topic or skill, analyze and explain:

  • What its practical uses are
  • Why it is important
  • How it will assist the learners in future

This will make many students cultivate an interest in the once-theoretical subject and develop a deeper grasp. Cultivating a growth mindset in learners should be more straightforward as a result.

You can put your students at the core of the learning process by employing both active learning and experiential learning techniques. These techniques allow students to build more meaningful comprehension of theoretical skills and concepts you are teaching.

12. Give Some Room for Goal-Based Journaling

Journaling serves various purposes, such as motivating learners to cultivate a growth mindset by setting goals. As a way out, ask learners to:

  • Review progress towards achieving these objectives
  • Set learning objectives themselves

For instance, a learner may aim at attaining a particular grade on an upcoming test. The learner must note down the steps they are taking to achieve this goal.

The steps could include finishing several additional assignment questions every night. Regardless of the objective, learners should follow the SMART approach, ensuring it isn’t too high. The objective ought to be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time-Bound

This type of objective setting is, in a way, the representation of cultivating a growth mentality. Learners are focused on improving and talking themselves out of thinking that their skills and attributes are rigid.

What will happen once the students realize their goals? The students will learn that growth is always achievable.

13. Say “Yet” Quite Often

The term “yet” can transform discouraging sentences into affirmative ones, encouraging growth.

This linguistic strategy works particularly well with phrases that comprise “don’t” or “can’t” since it alters the negative undertone. Review the sentences below and at yet at the end of the phrases:

  • I don’t comprehend dependent and independent phrases
  • I don’t have the skill to respond to this query
  • I can’t solve long division

When using phrases similar to those listed above, keep this technique in mind and share it with learners. By doing this, you’ll illustrate that skill and concept mastery is achievable—it relies on trying different learning approaches, time, and persistence.

14. Take Advantage of the Grow-ga Yoga

Growth Mindset Yoga, also called Grow-ga, is a physical activity that combines positive affirmations and yoga. It’s a good activity you can use to teach your students concentration.

Grow-ga is a mixture of exhilarating physical exercises and an entertaining way to teach learners to make positive self-statements.

Select some relatively rudimentary yoga poses you know learners can do without difficulty (note that this task will be a bit challenging). The next step involves attaching a growth mentality statement to each pose. Listed below are some ideas you can embellish:

  • I am a talented individual
  • I am open-minded
  • I enjoy the discovery and learning process
  • I am a hardworking person
  • I am caring
  • I am a dedicated person

As the learners do each pose, have them convey all their positive feelings as they call out the affirmations together while holding the poses for a moment. 

15. Introduce an Accomplishment Jar

Realizing goals and achieving our objectives helps us develop and enhance our success. There are various supportive methods for learners to share those achievements and commemorate them with others.

Among the enjoyable and straightforward strategies of using an “accomplishment jar.”

To honor your accomplishments using accomplishment jars, find a big enough jar to accommodate your hand.

Secondly, write down the following questions on paper:

  • What have I achieved today?
  • What are my feelings regarding this accomplishment?
  • Why do I have particular feelings towards achieving this goal?

Place a small box containing these pieces of paper next to the jar. Next, direct your students to answer one or more of these slips every day together with their names and put them in the jar. 

Take out the slips and make a stack for every student’s name at the end of every week.

Hand each learner their stack so that they can go over their achievements and celebrate how much they’ve learned and grown. You can let your students share their accomplishments orally if they wish to.

Bottom Line

Utilize these ten strategies of growth mindset lesson plans to cultivate a growth mentality in your learners, assisting them in growing their abilities and talents inside and outside the learning environment.

Use this list of growth mindset lesson plans and you will notice a mindset shift as your students actively develop new skills, learn about new concepts and take on unique challenges.

Dedicated learners. Contented teacher. What’s to hate?

Aside from this list of growth mindset lesson plans make sure to also check out my 18 Growth Mindset Activities for Kids and 25 Easy Ways to Instill Growth Mindset for Students

Read and find out more about Grit and Growth Mindset – What’s the Difference & Can They Be Used Together?


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