Friday, December 9, 2016

Guidance Lesson: Growth Mindset Language

Growth Mindset Language

By: Aftan Lissy


Overview: Our thoughts and words influence our ability to be successful. We will face difficult and challenging tasks often, and what makes us successful is to keep trying. Students will have the opportunity to keep trying with their own task and they will hear a story of a girl who keeps trying even when she wants to quit. 

Activate previous knowledge: most students already know what it feels like to be encouraged by another person, and we will discuss how the same is true about how we talk to ourselves. Students will have the opportunity to reframe their negative language in a way that encourages them to keep trying. Example: I don’t know how to do this becomes I don’t know how to do this yet. 


Students will be given a piece of paper and scissors, and invited to re-create a paper structure that will be at the front of the class. Students will not be allowed to touch the structure, but they can look at it from all angles. Encourage students to discuss their ideas and methods as they complete the task. Ask that students keep it to themselves if they are successful. They will be given 5 minutes to complete this task.  As they work, write down language and behavior observed on the white board. After the 5 minutes is up, ask for the student’s attention and ask them to share how they felt during the activity. 

·         Did any make it? How long did it take? 

·         Was the first ten seconds much different from the last ten seconds? How?

·         What was it like when someone else got it?

Then, invite students to read “The Most Magnificent Thing.” Keep students engaged throughout the story by asking questions about how the girl felt, tracking how many times she kept trying and what made it magnificent. After the story, discuss the creation of the most magnificent thing from the story.

·         What went wrong? What went well?

·         How did her thoughts and language influence her success?

·         Was it perfect in the end?

Finally, discuss how life is full of difficult, annoying and frustrating things, and our thoughts and language can become our own best friend. Focusing their attention back to their own language on the white board from the opening activity, as a class we will discuss what is written there and how we could re-state and re-write phrases in more encouraging, positive language. (Student volunteers to write new phrases)

·         How can we re-state each sentence to encourage success?

·         We can encourage ourselves the same way we would encourage our best friend facing a difficult task.

These activities meet the objectives of the lesson plan by helping students to recognize their own language, how it can be beneficial or detrimental to success, and practicing how to reframe their own thoughts and language. The activities maintain student engagement throughout with hands on experience, a story, question and answer as well as student volunteers.

Paper structureBook: The Most Magnificent Thing

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