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! And 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?
I hope you’ve heard the term “growth mindset” because it’s the best way to help young adults prepare for the world ahead!
Growth mindset is the 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. And 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.
10 Growth Mindset Activities For High School Students
Look no further because these growth mindset activities are the best for in 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
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
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, this 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
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 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
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!
10. Growth Mindset Word Search
Your students will love this Growth Mindset Word Search! If you are spending some time talking about 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!
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