Activity Overview

Teaching students about "Growth Mindset" at the beginning of the year is a wonderful way to set students up for a successful year of tackling challenges and growing as a community of learners. Growth Mindset, as described by author Carol S. Dwek, is the belief that rather than being born with innate abilities that are fixed, humans all have the potential to train their abilities. Growth Mindset teaches that our intelligence, creativity, and athleticism are not fixed and inborn traits, but rather learned skills that can be improved through perseverance, effort, taking on new challenges, and learning from mistakes. Teaching students that their brains are capable of growing allows them to feel empowered. Carol S. Dweck says, "Failure is information, we label it failure, but it's more like, 'This didn't work, I'm a problem solver, and I'll try something else.'" By allowing students to understand that failure and making mistakes are a vital part of the learning process and 'growing your brain', they will be more confident to take risks and tackle new challenges. As Dweck says, Students will learn to "love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning.”

Teachers may wish to read a book, watch videos, or use other instructional materials that teach about the concept of Growth Mindset. After discussing the concept, students will make a T-Chart comparing the attributes and differences of a "Fixed Mindset" vs. a "Growth Mindset".

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Explain the difference between Growth Mindset and Fixed Mindset.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click “Start Assignment”.
  2. Think of 4 different examples of having a Fixed Mindset vs having a Growth Mindset.
  3. Using the T Chart template, add different scenes, characters, symbols and items that clearly illustrate each of your four examples.

Requirements: Four different examples of a Fixed Mindset vs. a Growth Mindset using illustrations and writing that clearly convey each.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/6/1] Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/6/2] Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/6/4] Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
  • [ELA-Literacy/SL/6/5] Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

5 Points
3 Points
1 Points
The descriptions are clear and at least two sentences.
The descriptions can be understood but it are somewhat unclear.
The descriptions are unclear and are not at least two sentences.
The illustrations represent the descriptions using appropriate scenes, characters and items.
The illustrations relate to the descriptions, but are difficult to understand.
The illustrations do not clearly relate to the descriptions.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are mostly correct.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are somewhat correct.
Spelling, grammar, and punctuation are mostly incorrect.

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