The transition into high school is one of the most challenging times for a student. Invite them back into a supportive and positive classroom environment while introducing them to a new type of thinking! The concept of having a growth mindset was pioneered by Carol S. Dweck and it involves reframing your learners’ thinking by allowing them to embrace and learn from challenges they may face. No matter the school season, your high school students will develop a positive attitude from the burst of confidence that comes with success!
These 34 growth mindset activities will strengthen your students’ individual abilities while adjusting their attitudes toward failure.
1. Growth Mindset Booklet
Treat your pupils to their very own, personal growth mindset booklet! Task them to complete it over the school year as they engage with its various resources. Whether it’s a coloring page, a growth mindset bulletin board, or poster – it’s a resource that’s sure to guide your students in their personal growth journey.
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2. Watch an Introductory Video
Introduce your learners to the concept of having a growth mindset with this introductory video. Encourage them to eagerly listen as the video explains key concepts through easy-to-follow diagrams.
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3. Keep a Growth Mindset in Online Learning
Incorporate a growth mindset theme into online lessons. Your class will face challenges such as communication when learning through an online platform. Task them with using these challenges to develop their growth mindset by having them turn a negative feeling into a positive lesson. For instance, if they are struggling to communicate through words – encourage them to treat it as a lesson on how to communicate effectively using digital tools.
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4. Explore STEM careers that don’t exist yet
Challenge your students to research STEM careers that are yet to be discovered! Simply task them with gathering information on various STEM careers before presenting them with a worldwide problem like climate change. Then, have them come up with a new STEM field that will aid in fighting this problem. It’s an interactive way to teach your class that sometimes they’ll have to create new solutions to solve problems in their lives.
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5. Growth Mindset in Math Class
Turn math lessons into an opportunity for growth with these easy tips! Encourage your learners to embrace their mistakes while also reassuring them that they already possess the ability to overcome any math challenge. This method of incorporating a growth mindset into math class will reassure them that you recognize their struggles while also motivating them to keep on trying.
6. Introduce Struggle as an Essential Life Skill
Teach your pupils to embrace their strife with this activity! Simply start by presenting them with an intricately folded structure and then invite them to recreate it. Once they’ve made their attempt, allow them to reflect on the feelings they went through as they tried to recreate each fold correctly. Reassure them that any struggle they face in carrying out the task is welcomed and that challenges are simply building blocks to success.
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7. Social-Emotional Learning Activities
Take some time to focus on social-emotional learning as your students embrace self-regulation strategies. For instance, invite them to practice grounding techniques by having them identify things in their classroom that they can see, hear, touch, smell, and taste. It’s a great way to introduce them to techniques that they can use to regulate their emotions.
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8. Four-Wall Discussion
Engage your class in an absorbing four-wall discussion! Simply start by presenting them with an opinion statement and then give them time to process it. Afterward, prompt them to divide into groups by having them move to a corner in the classroom labeled with “strongly agree”, “agree”, “disagree”, and “strongly disagree”. Once they’ve formed their groups, encourage them to discuss why they feel this way within their groups before having them share their opinions with the rest of their classmates.
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9. Breakout Rooms
Collaborative puzzles are a fantastic way for your learners to implement teamwork skills while also incorporating a positive mindset. Once they have been split into groups, challenge them with working together to solve clues in order to move to the next stage of the activity. It’s a great learning experience that’ll help them practice their growth mindset skills!
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10. Goal Setting Activities
There are various innovative techniques for setting goals such as this vision board activity! Begin by setting up a board in your class where your pupils will write down their goals for the day. Instill some competitive spirit into this activity by challenging them to see who can complete their goals of the day first!
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11. Growth Mindset Classroom Posters
Adorn your classroom with these colorful growth mindset posters! Involve your learners by having them choose where to place each poster so that they never run out of positive encouragement.
Learn More: TPT
12. Growth Mindset Crafts
Combine lessons on growth mindsets with some crafty flair! Invite your students to create mantra cards out of colorful construction paper and markers that’ll serve as personal reminders to keep a positive mindset.
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13. The 21-Day Challenge
Invite your class to take part in a 21-day challenge! Simply prompt them to plan out small acts of leadership that they can accomplish each day. To complete the challenge, they’ll need to perform a different act each day like expressing gratitude on Monday or displaying an act of kindness on Tuesday.
Learn more: Medium
14. Growth Mindset Statements
The way we use our words makes a great impact on our mindsets! Encourage your pupils to make a positive change by having them focus on how they frame their words. Prompt them to write down a few statements that represent a fixed mindset and then challenge them with reframing these words to transform them into positive growth mindset statements.
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15. And Finally, Time for Reflection
Treat your class to some quiet time as they learn how to self-reflect! Prompt them to think about how their actions have contributed to their growth by asking them questions like “What goals have you achieved this week?” or “How are you feeling after overcoming this challenge?”. Encourage them to ponder these questions or have them express their thoughts in a journal.
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16. The Power of ‘Yet’ Artwork
Invite your students to embrace the power of “Yet” with this artistic activity! Simply have them write out phrases before adding the word “Yet” to complete the sentence. For instance, they could write “I can’t do this…yet” or “I don’t understand this…yet”. Then, encourage them to fill their pieces with colorful doodles or patterns to bring their inspiring poster to life.
Learn More: Pinterest
17. Journaling for Growth
Journalling is a great tool that can be used by your learners to develop their growth mindset! Encourage them to fill their journal by prompting them to write about different self-growth topics. They will record their triumphs, challenges, and ways they’ve surpassed those obstacles. It’s a great tool for self-expression that’s also private and for their eyes only.
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18. Reading and Discussing Biographies
Lead your pupils on a path to success with this inspiring activity. Task them with reading biographies of successful individuals who’ve failed before they’ve succeeded, and then involve them in a discussion of these individuals. It’s a fantastic way to teach your students that failure is just another step towards success!
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19. ‘Two Truths and a Lie’ Activity
Who’s up for a riveting game of truth or dare, minus the dare? Challenge your learners by articulating two truths showcasing a growth mindset and one cleverly disguised lie. Then, encourage them to discuss the statements to figure out what is true and what is the lie.
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20. Visualization Exercise
Get your students keen to daydream about their goals with this engaging activity! Invite them to close their eyes and prompt them to visualize themselves overcoming hurdles and reaching their goals. This mental exercise allows them to take the time to think about what’s important to them while also visualizing what they’ll need to do to achieve their goals.
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21. Resilience-building Workshop
Give your pupils the tools to overcome challenges in their lives with this resilience-building workshop! Introduce them to the building blocks of resilience by leading them in a discussion on social skills, positive thinking, and self-compassion. Then, encourage them to share personal tales of overcoming adversity using these newly developed skills.
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22. Role-playing Activity
Show your learners how their mindsets can influence their actions with this creative activity! Task them with role-playing different scenarios where they act out how a fixed mindset and a growth mindset would look in each scenario.
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23. Growth Mindset Scenarios
In this activity, your students are both the players and the game-changers! Start by handing out scenario cards and then engage them in a discussion of what they’d do in each scenario. It’s an interactive way to develop decision-making skills and prompt personal growth for your class.
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24. Positivity Postcards
Spread some positivity around your classroom with this creative activity. Invite your class to create positive affirmation postcards by choosing some inspiring words to transfer onto cardstock, before having them hang them around the class to create a positive environment for growth!
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25. ‘My Future Self’ Letters
Teleport your pupils through time as they write letters to their future selves! Encourage them to fill in prompts if they need some inspiration or they can flesh out their letters with goals they’d like to achieve throughout the year. Keep their letters safe and return them at the end of the year for them to see how far they’ve grown throughout the school year.
Learn More: TPT
26. Growth Mindset Debates
Here’s a lively activity that’s sure to inspire some critical thinking in your students! Begin by allocating a growth mindset quote to groups of learners before challenging each group to debate the meaning and message behind it. It’s an activity guaranteed to deepen their understanding of how growth mindsets can look different for different people.
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27. Failures and Lessons Board
Add a pop of color to your classroom with this Failures and Lessons board. Start by assembling a board where your learners can post challenges they’ve faced during the week and what they’ve done to overcome them. Every posted note will turn a setback into a setup for personal growth!
Learn More: TPT
28. Praise the Process
Give your students the support and praise they need to help them on their growth mindset journey! Simply employ this method of praising the process to validate them when they accomplish something in their daily lives. Instead of praising the person, you will praise the process by recognizing the effort they’ve put in to overcome challenges in their schoolwork or everyday life.
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29. Book Club
Start a book club where your pupils read and discuss books that endorse a growth mindset. Simply assign various roles to each person and encourage them to dissect literature as they learn how to apply mindset theories in real life!
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30. Career Day
Roll out the red carpet for professionals from various sectors! Invite your class to listen as you give each individual a slot to talk about how a growth mindset was crucial in their success. Encourage your learners to ask questions and take notes on the valuable advice they’ll receive.
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31. Mindset Check-ins
Set aside some time each week or month for a mindset check-in. Encourage your students to be vulnerable with themselves as they follow prompts and write down how their mindset has shifted or improved during a specific period of time. This activity is a healthy way to instill accountability in your students while also gently leading them on their personal growth journey.
Learn More: Twinkl
32. Inspirational Quotes
Turn your high schoolers into philosophers for the day! Challenge them to research growth mindset quotes before sharing what they find with the class. As they delve into this inspirational research project, we guarantee they’ll soak up each nugget of insightful information.
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33. ‘Growth vs Fixed’ Mindset Posters
Inject some vibrance into growth mindset lessons with this creative activity! Divide your class in two before tasking one group to devise scenarios that represent a growth mindset while the other group will represent fixed mindsets. Then, allow them to express their ideas creatively by having them fill poster boards with their differing scenarios. This activity is sure to cement the contrast between having a growth mindset and a fixed mindset.
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34. Daily Affirmations
Kick-off each day one positive affirmation at a time! Simply create a list of uplifting statements that your class can recite at the beginning of each lesson. It’s a wonderful way to set the tone for a day of learning and personal growth.
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