Our recent International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC) infographic on growth mindset can ignite potential for classroom dialogue and hands-on activities related to the concept.
Here are 6 creative ways to engage with each growth mindset characteristic:
1. Embracing change
Reflective questions: Can you recall a moment in your life when you were faced with a significant change? How did you feel, and what did you do?
Activity: Seasons of Change
Have students create art or write short stories capturing the four seasons, reflecting on the natural changes in our environment and drawing parallels to their personal experiences.
2. Showing persistence
Reflective questions: Was there a task or project you almost gave up on? What kept you going?
Activity: Persistence Journaling
For one week, have students maintain a journal of challenges faced, noting when they persisted and the outcomes of doing so.
3. Being resilient and adaptable
Reflective questions: When did you last face a setback or disappointment? How did you adapt or find another way?
Activity: Resilience Role Play
Have students act out scenarios where they are faced with an unexpected obstacle and demonstrate resilience in overcoming it.
4. Being receptive to feedback
Reflective questions: Can you remember a piece of feedback that initially stung but proved invaluable? How were you receptive to the feedback?
Activity: Feedback Discovery
Students in groups of 3-4 first discuss the difference between generic and constructive feedback. They then exchange work and, using their new understanding, provide thoughtful comments. After sharing, groups reflect on how it feels to both give and receive truly constructive feedback, and the importance of being receptive to it.
5. Setting long-term goals
Reflective questions: Why do you think it's essential to have goals for the distant future? How might they guide our daily actions?
Activity: Goal Tree
Students sketch a tree on paper or digitally. The roots symbolize their present strengths and challenges, anchoring them in the present. The trunk outlines medium-term goals, illustrating growth and their journey. Lastly, the branches stretch out, capturing long-term aspirations, each leaf representing a distinct dream or milestone. Once completed, students can discuss their trees, providing insight into their current state and future ambitions.
6. Being Inspired by the success of others
Reflective questions: Who in your life or in history has achieved something that truly inspires you? Why is this?
Activity: Inspiration Gallery Walk
Students create posters or digital slides about individuals who inspire them. These are then displayed, and students tour the "gallery," discussing and sharing stories of inspiration.