This growth mindset activity will help students consider the idea that we’re not born good at something, but rather we can get better at different things through practice.
My students occasionally got frustrated when I would demonstrate different art techniques.
“Ms. Woods, you’re such a good artist! I just can’t do it.”
I would always remind them that I was old (not really, but to them I’m ancient), and I had been practicing all different kinds of art every day since I could hold a crayon.
Science, on the other hand? It didn’t come as naturally to me, but with hours of studying and my teacher helping me see things visually, I was able to do well on tests and projects.
In both cases, I got better with practice.
I still remember a moment in 6th grade when my science teacher offered extra help during recess before an upcoming test. I was walking towards the room when my classmate said indignantly, “Why are you coming to extra help?? You don’t need help, you get As!”
How did she think I was able to get As? I got extra help!
That idea that certain skills and abilities are predetermined, or a fixed mindset, is ingrained in our kids early on. So we need to start the conversation that while certain things come naturally to an extent, no one becomes great at something without practicing. And we can always get at least a little better at things that don’t come naturally to us through hard work and practice. This is a growth mindset.