17 Growth Mindset Activities for High School Students

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If you’re a parent, teacher, or work with teens in some other way, listen up because these growth mindset activities for high school students are for you!

Instead of just explaining what a growth mindset is, these activities are a fun way to introduce the topic! Many of them are so reflective that they will help any student start developing a growth mindset of their own.

You don’t want to miss this!

What is a Growth Mindset?

What is a Growth Mindset

I hope you’ve heard of the term “growth mindset,” because it’s the best way to help young adults prepare for the world ahead!

A growth mindset is a general mentality that your intelligence, skills, etc. can grow and develop. Someone with a growth mindset believes that any mistake or hardship is something they can work through to achieve their goals!

On the opposite side of the spectrum is a fixed mindset, a mentality that your skills or lack thereof are static and you might as well not try. Unfortunately, this mindset is far too common in high schools.

Why Does Growth Mindset Matter?

Helping your students develop a growth mindset is a great way to arm them with the perseverance and resilience that they’ll need to make a difference in their lives and the lives of everyone they meet.

A teen with a growth mindset will mature into an adult who wants to learn and grow and isn’t debilitated by setbacks!

There’s no better time to introduce these growth mindset activities that will help your students enter adulthood full of positivity, flexibility, and ambition.

17 Growth Mindset Activities For High School Students

17 Growth Mindset Activities For High School Students

Look no further because these growth mindset activities are the best for the classroom or at home!

1. Mantra Cards

It seems simple, but having mantras that your students can repeat to themselves can be really effective for reinforcing a growth mindset!

Grab some notecards and have the students write mantras like “You can do this”, “Keep trying”, or “You are enough”. Let them decorate the cards and keep them somewhere that they can see them when they are struggling.

If you really want to get the most out of your mantras, you could also incorporate saying the mantras together as a group into your lessons.

2. Goal Posters

Goal Posters

Setting goals is a huge part of a growth mindset, so teaching high school students to set reasonable and achievable goals is a great activity.

Try making posters with goals and steps that they hope to achieve in the near future. They could decorate the poster with pictures, doodles, or whatever else you’d like.

Keep the posters around to remind them of their goals in a fun and creative way.

3. The Paper Challenge

Sometimes the best way to teach a growth mindset is by exposing your teens to challenging activities in a safe space where you can guide them. The Paper Challenge is a great way to do this!

Basically, they have to replicate a tricky shape of paper only using a sheet of paper and scissors. It’s harder than it looks and can be a bit frustrating!

During the activity, be sure to encourage them to keep trying and not give up!

4. Changing Phrases

Changing Phrases

Here’s another great, simple activity that will help retrain your students’ brains to have more of a growth mindset.

Have a list of several fixed-mindset statements, such as “I give up”, “this is too hard for me”, or “I’m just not good at this skill”.

Let the students brainstorm individually or as a group a new statement for each fixed mindset statement that is more positive and growth mindset oriented!

This is one of my favorite growth mindset activities because, hopefully, it will help them do the same thing on their own when they have a fixed mindset thought.

5. My Strengths Silhouette

Use a picture of the teenager to create a silhouette of their face. When the silhouette is completed, have them fill it with words, phrases, or pictures that describe some of their strengths.

If they struggle to come up with strengths, share some examples or have others help brainstorm with them.

6. Growth Mindset Cootie Catcher

Growth Mindset Cootie Catcher

How cute is this idea?

Print out this ready-made template for growth mindset cootie catchers that will help your high school students think about their strengths and goals.

It’s a really fun game, so it makes it feel like teaching a growth mindset is just a bonus!

7. Situation Worksheets

To really help your students understand the difference between a fixed mindset and a growth mindset, you could make worksheets that have a situation and a space for fixed mindset and growth mindset responses.

Let your students work together or individually to come up with a fixed mindset response and a growth mindset response and reflect on what each response would do to help or not help the situation.

8. Growth Mindset Board Game

Growth Mindset Board Game

This activity can be done in two fun ways. You could have your students make their own game boards and fill in the spaces with growth mindset questions or statements.

It’s a great creative way to reflect on the idea of a growth mindset!

Or you can download a prepared growth mindset board game and play together for a simple fun activity!

9. Growth Mindset Bookmarks

I love the idea of making reminders all around for your students to have a growth mindset. Bookmarks are a great way to do that.

Cut strips of paper and have your students write different growth mindset phrases and mantras on them. Decorate them with stickers, doodles, or ribbons.

To make them extra sturdy you’ll want to laminate them when they are finished decorating!

Growth Mindset Word Search

Your students will love this Growth Mindset Word Search! If you are spending some time talking about a growth mindset, this is a good activity for students to do on their own during free time.

It’s another simple reminder and reinforcer of the concepts that they’ll learn about having a growth mindset.

What growth mindset activities do you like doing with your high school students? Let us know in the comments!

11. Growth Mindset Book

Reading is a great way to gain knowledge and improve your concentration. Students should definitely adopt the habit of reading.

Parents and teachers should encourage the kids to read Growth Mindset books. These books can help them understand the concept better and inspire them to work towards it.

You can arrange reading sessions and provide them with the best books in the category. However, only some kids are interested in reading books; others can try listening to audiobooks as it will be more convenient.

12. Letters to ‘My Future Self’

Letters to ‘My Future Self’

You can ask the students to write letters to their future selves. They can write the goals they want to achieve within a year or more or how they want to improve themselves overall.

They can keep the letters safe and open them after a year or so to see how much they have achieved so far. Seeing their progress will impact their mind positively and result in better performance.

But ensure to remind them not to be discouraged if they cannot achieve the set goal and teach them to take it as a challenge and try to give their best next time to tick off everything on the list.

13. Weekly or Monthly Challenge

Teenagers get excited when they are challenged to do something. We can use this method for their betterment.

Challenge them to perform activities that will enhance their mindset and lead to growth. For example, showing small acts of kindness, learning something new, helping people in need, and more.

The challenges can be weekly or monthly, and they can be chosen by the teachers or the students themselves.

But ensure that they complete the challenges with a positive mindset and not just for the sake of doing it, as it can have a different impact on an individual’s mind.

14. Journaling


Journaling is one of the best methods to enhance your mindset. Teach them the importance of journaling and how they can use it in a fun way to better themselves.

Ask them to write about their goals, challenges they face, how they overcome obstacles, and more. They can also use the journal for writing on self-growth topics.

Many people use journaling as a way to vent out their negative thoughts or to jot down their daily experiences, both good and bad. Journaling helps you express your thoughts and feelings privately, which leads to a clear and peaceful mind.

15. Examples of Famous Failures

Failures are a part of life, and however hard we try, we cannot escape failures. While working toward our goals, we are bound to face rejections and failures, and these numerous downfalls lead us to the success we seek.

Many famous personalities have failed so many times before achieving their dreams, and their stories can inspire many.

Give real-life examples of failures to the students so they will feel motivated and avoid giving up without their best efforts.

16. Inspirational Quotes

Inspirational Quotes

Reading quotes is a great way to keep yourself motivated. For incorporating a growth mindset, reading inspirational and motivational quotes can be helpful to the students.

You can ask them to research some inspirational quotes and share them with the class, along with their meaning. While researching, they will come across a lot of quotes that will eventually get stuck in their minds in some way or another.

Nowadays, meaningful quotes can be found in books and movies as well, so give them this task and analyze the outcome.

17. Creating a Checklist Including the Word ‘YET’ 

Another creative way to motivate students to work toward their goals with a better mindset is to include the word ‘YET’ in their lives.

Ask them to make a chart by writing phrases and adding the word ‘Yet’ at the end. For instance, ‘I can’t do this yet; I am not good at this yet.’

Doing this will make them aware of the areas in which they are struggling and need to improve in the future. Once they have achieved a particular goal, they can remove the word ‘Yet’ from that phrase.


Children must be guided when they enter their teenage. During this growing phase, teaching them to have positive mindsets and how to improve and develop them is necessary.

You can make learning fun by introducing them to various growth mindset activities. I hope this article was helpful to you; now start incorporating these ideas into your kids’ life and see the difference!

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1 thought on “17 Growth Mindset Activities for High School Students”

  1. In my high school English class, I have started to build a class library of growth mindset books. I do, however, really like the idea of doing a paper challenge. It sounds like lots of fun!


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