Growth Mindset Lesson Plan | "Invictus" | Distance Learning Google Classroom

Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Google Apps™
  • Internet Activities
16 pages
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Looking for a powerful addition to your growth mindset unit?

“Invictus” by William Ernest Henley and “The Writer” by Richard Wilbur are great poems to explore the concept of growth mindset.

“The Writer” tells a story of a father listening to his daughter write in her room; by comparing her experience writing a story to that of a ship traveling over the sea as well as to a bird that the speaker and his daughter watched struggle to break free one day, the speaker discusses themes of persistence, pain, struggle, and of the journey of life. (The text of “The Writer” has not been included in this packet because of copyright.)

In “Invictus,” the speaker tells of his struggles with the darkness and brutality of circumstance and speaks of the power that he has to decide his own fate no matter what comes his way.

When you teach a unit on these powerful poems you will:

  • Start your class periods with bellringer freewrite prompts that will help students to focus, get ready to work, and begin to explore the essential questions of the text.

  • Strengthen your students’ close reading skills by taking them through a close reading of the poems with the no-prep questions and handouts.

  • Easily review the questions using the extensive answer keys which quote the important passages, so there is no guessing on your part as to which parts of the text are most important.

  • Easily teach the unit online using the ready-to-go instructions, links, handouts, and forms all optimized for Google Classroom.

  • Add rigor to your lesson plans when your students analyze the poets' use of enjambment, diction, imagery, figurative language, and extended metaphor with the structured and focused questions.

  • Help your classes to better understand their own views on struggle, success, and hard work.

Pairings: These poems would pair well with any texts that deal with themes of struggle, hardship, fate, journeys, or perseverance. Suggestions include Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, The Odyssey, The Iliad, Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, The Color Purple, The Scarlet Letter, Things Fall Apart, and 1984.

Total Pages
16 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11–12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Analyze a case in which grasping point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).


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