September 9, 2018 Lesson Plan: Growth Mindset-Overcoming the Fear of Failure

September 9, 2018 Growth Mindset: overcoming fear of failure

1. WELCOME:  Welcome kids to the rug. Make sure you’re energetic and excited. Show them you’re happy to see them and communicate that everyone is welcome and belongs. Help everyone find a spot to sit and encourage people to make space for each other.


PRACTICE KNOWING EVERYBODY’S NAME: there’s a different group of kids each Sunday and they might not know each other’s names. Each time a person takes the koosh ball have them say their name! Have everyone say “hi_____”

Start out by explaining that we are a community and we show that we are there for each other by listening to each other’s cares and concerns. We make peace when we listen quietly while each person talks. We listen with our whole bodies by holding still and looking at the person who’s talking.

Guide the kids through a time of sharing their bummer and happy from the week. 

3. MEDITATION MOMENT: (Meditations from Breathe Like a Bear by Kira Willey) 

4. Introduction to the lesson


Today we’re going to talk about something called Growth Mindset. Growth Mindset is a way of thinking that helps us to see and understand that we are all in process. Growth Mindset helps us understand that our brains are constantly growing and changing so even when we make mistakes or fail at something, those mistakes and failures are actually helping us to grow. We learn when we try new things, we learn when we mess up, we learn when we fail. We’ll talk more about Growth Mindset over the coming weeks but for today we’re going to focus on the part about failure. In Growth Mindset we see that failure isn’t actually a bad thing. Failure isn’t the end. Failure is actually a way in which we grow and learn. Today’s story is about one famous example of a person’s failure. But first, who wants to read today’s recitations?” 

Readings: Ask for volunteers

“Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature’s law is wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams, it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else ever cared.” 

-Tupac Shakur 

“It is our choices that show who we really are, far more than our abilities.” -J.K. Rowling

“Failure is a great teacher and if you are open to it, every mistake has a lesson to offer.” -Oprah Winfrey 

“You can’t let your failures define you, you have to let your failures teach you.” Barack Obama

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan 

5. Story and Discussion Questions:  Read the story and ask the discussion questions:

There’s a woman named Jo who lives in Scotland. Her whole life Jo has loved to write. Growing up she got up every morning and found something to write about.  She often felt in life like she wasn’t good at things or that she didn’t fit in but the one thing she always knew she wanted to do and the one thing she absolutely knew she was good at was writing. When Jo grew up she really struggled in life. She lost her mother to sickness at a young age. She had very little money and lived in a small apartment with barely enough food to feed herself and her young daughter.  Jo kept writing through all of her struggles. She would go on walks through the city so that her baby would fall asleep and then when she’d gone to sleep Jo would sneak into a coffee shop to get as much writing done as she could while her daughter napped.  After finishing her first story about a boy named Harry, she wanted to share it with the world. Jo took her book to publishers all across England. All of them rejected her novel-she was rejected by twelve publishing companies in total. 

Jo never gave up. It didn’t feel good to be told no, to be told her work wasn’t good enough. But Jo asked her agent to keep trying because she was confident in the story she had written. Even though she sometimes felt bummed by the rejection, she kept trying to get her art out into the world. After a year of trying, a publisher in London finally accepted her story and she published her novel under the pen name J.K. Rowling. She finally got to see her story in the hands of the children she knew would love it. She wrote a whole series of books about Harry Potter which have become the world’s best selling book series of all time and Jo became the world’s first billionaire author. Because Joanne Rowling believed in herself, she never gave up! She says, “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all -- in which case, you fail by default.”


1.How do you think you would feel if a publishing company told you they wouldn’t publish your book?

2.Have you ever created something or worked on something and then had someone tell you that it wasn’t good? How did you respond? 

3.Can you think of something that used to seem too difficult or impossible to do but now it’s easy for you? 

4.Do you ever just quit because something seems too hard?


6. Wrap up and pray: 

J.K. Rowling went on to succeed because of her mindset. She kept going and she believed in herself. We can work on having this kind of growth mindset by changing the way we talk to ourselves. 

Go over the “Growth Mindset Statements” 

7. Dismiss for station activities. Explain the options to the kids and have them choose where to start. Make sure they are spread out evenly and stay at one station at a time. Manage the rotation.