Growth Mindset Books for Kids
Growth mindset has been a hot topic lately and for the past three years I have been intentional about teaching my students how to have a growth mindset. Growth mindset is believing intelligence can be improved and not just something you are born with. Carol Dweck has written Growth Mindset: A New Psychology to Success on the topic of growth mindset and how people with this mindset are more successful.
As a teacher, I want to instill a growth mindset within my students from the beginning of the year. They need to be comfortable with making mistakes, they need to be okay with not knowing everything yet, and only competing with themselves. Whenever a student says they cannot do something I make them follow their statement with the word ‘yet.’ Yet is such a powerful word and it can change how a student feels about their abilities!
So how do I introduce growth mindset to my students? The first thing we do is watch the videos on Classroom Dojo on growth mindset. There are follow up questions and activities to go along with the videos. The next thing I do is have my students create a Growth Mindset Journal, which you can find here. The journal begins with brainstorming pages for students to visual who they want to be when they grow up. It has sections for students to write statements about what they cannot do yet. Then, they will write down their dreams and create goals to accomplish these dreams. Each week the student writes their goal on Monday. On Friday, they will reflect on their progress for the week. At the top of the weekly pages is an inspirational quote for students to reflect on throughout the week. Students can discuss the quote with a partner or do a quick write about what the quote means to them. Be sure to get a copy for your class here!
Another great way to introduce growth mindset is by doing read alouds! Below are some of my favorite books on growth mindset and a brief description of each.
Stuck by Oliver Jeffers
Stuck is about a boy, Floyd, who gets his kite stuck in a tree. He tries throwing several objects into the tree in order to release his kite. Each item he tosses gets stuck as well. This book introduces perseverance and grit. It’s definitely a silly way to introduce these very important concepts, and the kids love it!
This book is about a girl who tries to create the most magnificent thing. As she is creating, she is never satisfied with how it turns out. She tries several different options before finally getting frustrated and giving up. Her dog convinces her to try again after a walk to clear her head. In the end, she is very satisfied with what she creates! This book teaches perseverance. I also speak with my students about how she took a walk to clear her head, and how it’s okay to take a break when we get frustrated with something.
Rosie Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty
Rosie Revere wants to be an engineer, but hides what she creates. When her grandma comes to visit, she teaches Rosie not to be afraid of mistakes and the only thing we should fear is giving up. I like to introduce the word “grit” when I read this book with my students.
What to do with a Problem? By Kobi Yamada
This story is about a boy who is avoiding a problem. The more he avoids it the bigger it seems to get. When he finally decides to face the issue, he finds out it is not what he thought it was after all. I speak about courage with my students after reading this book.
Just Being Audrey by Margaret Cadillo
I use this book because Audrey Hepburn is one of my inspirations and this book is inspiring. In the book it tells about Audrey’s dream to be a ballerina but others in her life do not support the dream. It tells about path to becoming an actress. I speak with my students about no one gets to tell them how big their dreams can be. We talk about how Audrey practiced and practiced because dreams do not come true on accident, it takes hard work.