By the end of this series of lessons, learners should:

  • choose one or more method to record their informed position about the brain, neuroplasticity, growth mindsets and personal performance
  • communicate their learning to the teacher or class (through spoken word, visual media or both)


Uploaded by Stefanie Faye Frank on 2015-12-21.


Teacher instructions: Students may be asked to complete learning activity 1, 2, or both activities (depending on time available). Teachers can choose the most relevant activity, or students could be given a choice about how to demonstrate their own learning through the activities below. An estimate of the time commitment for each task is included in brackets- use as a guide only, but allow students in your class the time they need to do a great job of the task at hand, rather than rushing them through to the next task.

Learning Activity 1: Growth vs. Fixed Mindset Poster- teachers decide if this would work best with your group as a whole class activity, or small group activity. (1 or 2 lessons)
Students are to make a two-column poster on the beliefs and behaviours of a growth mindset and how it compares to a fixed mindset.  Explain that you can have a fixed mindset in one domain and a growth mindset in another - they aren’t necessarily black and white concepts.  Urge students to map out how beliefs influence behaviours which ultimately lead to results.  

If they need scenarios to help them brainstorm, use the examples below or create your own! What are the behaviours / thoughts of people that believe intelligence can be developed when: 
• ...they put a lot of effort into practicing for a basketball game, but still lose?

• ...they don’t understand what they are learning in math class?

• ...they are not putting any effort into a project but got an A anyway? 

Use this poster as a reference throughout the year to help students recognize when they have a fixed mindset and to give them ideas on methods to shift towards a growth mindset. Display in the classroom or students can present their posters to the class.

Learning Activity 2: Research Project- small group activity. (2 or 3 lessons)

Using the guidelines below, students are to make a project on how the brain grows as it struggles to learn something new.
Students are to create a poster, painting, video or Powerpoint presentation to demonstrate how the brain works.  Students choose whichever method works best for them, or the teacher can choose.

Here is one student-friendly resource from Brainology to get students started on the "research".  The article on pages 1-3 is a brief overview of the science behind the growth mindset.
Each project must at least answer these questions.
• What is neuroplasticity and how does it work?

• What are neurons? How can they change over time? How do we know this?

• What are ways of making your brain grow?

• What is a growth mindset? 

Students- be sure to include evidence to back up your claims (ex. Are there studies that show this? Don’t forget to cite your sources!). Be creative and scientific when explaining how learning can help develop the brain.
Display these projects around your room and refer to them throughout the year as motivation and a friendly reminder about the brain’s plasticity. Alternatively, students can present their projects to the class.