7 Growth Mindset Activities for Elementary Students

Positive Thinking and Growth Mindset activities are popular topics in education, and for good reason! Having a positive attitude and a growth mindset allows students to believe they can improve their skills and abilities through hard work and practice. A growth mindset is the belief that intelligence and abilities can be developed, while a fixed mindset is the belief that intelligence and abilities cannot be changed. 

Keep reading for 7 Growth Mindset Activities you can use with elementary students.

Growth Mindset activities increase student success.
Growth Mindset activities help encourage perseverance and student success.

Activity #1: Growth Mindset Affirmations

Teach your students about the importance of growth mindset activities. Help them understand that a positive attitude can help them overcome challenges and achieve their goals.

One way to help your students develop a growth mindset is to have them recite positive affirmations each day. You can write these affirmations on slips of paper and put them in a jar, or create a growth mindset bulletin board where students can read the affirmations each day. Some examples of growth mindset affirmations include: I can achieve anything I set my mind to I am resilient and can overcome any obstacle I am a growth mindset learner!


Activity #2: Growth Mindset Visualizations

Encourage your students to take risks and try new things. Help them understand that failure is a part of learning and growth.

Visualizations are a powerful growth mindset activity that can help your students see themselves achieving their goals. To do this activity, have students close their eyes and imagine themselves succeeding in whatever it is they are working on, whether it’s a difficult test, a challenging sport, or anything else. As they visualize themselves achieving their goal, encourage them to think about how they feel and what they are doing in order to achieve success. This growth mindset activity is a great way to help your students build confidence and motivation!


Activity #3 Growth Mindset Activities: The Magical Yet

Encourage students to keep trying, even when they find something difficult.

Teach students to add YET to the end of sentences Why is the word “yet” so important? Yet implies that a goal can be reached. Yet puts a person in control, while acknowledging there is work to be done in order to get to the desired place. Adding “yet” to the end of a sentence turns it into a possibility. “I don’t know how to ride a bike….yet.” One of my new favorite books is,  “The Magical Yet” by Angela Di’Terlizzi. It is a great story that illustrates why the word YET is so powerful.

The Magical Yet...a great book to introduce growth mindset activities.
The Magical Yet…a great book to introduce growth mindset activities.


Activity #4: Looking for Evidence of Growth

Encourage your students to set goals and strive to reach them.

Help them to see that effort and perseverance are key to achieving their goals. provide attainable challenges. “This is going to be hard, but I will try and follow the steps I know to tackle it.” In this growth mindset activity, have students reflect on times when they have overcome a challenge or improved their skills. This can be done through journaling, discussions, or small groups. Once students have identified a time when they have shown growth, have them look for evidence to support their claim. For example, if a student says “I improved my math skills because I kept practicing even when I made mistakes,” ask them to find specific examples.  


Activity #5 Growth Mindset Journaling

Encourage your students to celebrate their successes, no matter how small. Help them understand that every success is a step towards their goals. 

Another activity you can do with your students is growth mindset journaling. Every day, have students write down one thing that they did that showed a growth mindset. For example, “I kept trying even when I wanted to give up” or “I asked for help when I needed it.” At the end of each week, have students share their growth mindset journal entries with the class.    


Activity #6: Writing Growth Mindset Letters

Help your students to see the importance of effort and practice.

This growth mindset activity is a great way to help your students build confidence and motivation. Have students write letters to themselves, imagining that they are looking back on their current situation from the future. In their letters, encourage them to describe how they overcame challenges, what growth mindset strategies they used, and how they ultimately achieved success.


Activity #7: Learn About the Failures of Successful People  

Teach your students that successful people learn from their mistakes. 

Most successful people experienced failure before success. Helping your students see the value in accepting constructive criticism will help them believe in their own ability to grow and improve. Positive thinkers are more likely to be successful in school and in life than those with a negative outlook. They are also more resilient and adaptable, meaning that they bounce back from setbacks more quickly. When students feel supported in learning and believe that they can improve with effort, they are more likely to take risks and persevere when faced with setbacks. I love to use these activities with students because their confidence and positive attitude towards learning shines through! 


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Classroom Expectations and Growth Mindset Activities


Growth Mindset Activities

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