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".
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Objective: Explain the difference between Growth Mindset and Fixed Mindset.
Requirements: Four different examples of a Fixed Mindset vs. a Growth Mindset using illustrations and writing that clearly convey each.
Grade Level 6-8
Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)
Type of Assignment IndividualCommon Core Standards