TED Talk Growth Mindset Activity: Growth Mindset Introduction | Questions, Quiz

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Looking for some engaging no-prep activities to introduce your classes to growth mindset?

Teachers know how important it is to teach students about growth mindset, but it’s not enough to hang some posters or teach them some popular catch phrases about effort. This kind of well-intentioned instruction will only lead to students who feel bad about themselves and are a challenge to teach.

Growth mindset is more than just a belief in effort. Students need to understand the brain science behind the theory if they are going to realize how a fixed mindset is limiting their potential—as Carol Dweck herself explained in an article in Scientific America, they need “explicit instruction regarding the mind as a learning machine.” This mini unit is based on the research done by Dweck and her colleagues as well as on my sixteen years of experience in the classroom.

This unit is now optimized for distance or remote learning with Google Classroom.

When you introduce your students to the ideas behind growth mindset with this resource they will:

  • get excited about the topic when they take a fun “quiz” on growth and fixed mindset

  • watch a fascinating and informative TED Talk that explains how growth mindset works and how we can all work to adopt a growth mindset in our own lives

  • read the actual article that Dweck and her colleagues used in their research to teach students about the brain science

  • be on the path to growing their brains by taking on more challenges when they examine their own habits and beliefs

  • understand the importance of failure in learning when they learn about the brain science and studies done on students

The entire mini unit is ready to go with minimal prep on you part. In fact, this would be a great choice for substitute plans.

“My students loved this!”—Cynthia L.

“A metacognitive assignment that will get kids talking and thinking.”—Buyer

“A great way to teach students about the brain science behind growth mindset. Wonderful resource!”—Buyer

“Perfect to start my second quarter, students need this type of motivation and the quiz, plus the video, plus the questions are just perfect and easy to follow. Thank you so much for this resource.”—Kathy C.

Total Pages
8 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.
Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.
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.


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