Subject: ELA (English Language Arts), SEL (Social-Emotional Learning)

Lesson Length: 45 mins - 1 hour

Topic: Perspective, Resilience

Grade Level: 10, 11, 12, 8, 9

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will illustrate a growth mindset.

Know Before You Start: Students should know the difference between a fixed and growth mindset.


  • Ask students:
    • “How do you respond to challenging situations?”
    • “What is self-talk?” 


  • Have students individually generate short scenario task cards of real-world situations that are challenging and stressful for high school students. 
  • In groups of three, have students assume thr following roles:
    • Optimist
    • Pessimist
    • Neutral Facilitator
  • The facilitator will ask questions to each student about what they are thinking and feeling as they navigate the situation on the task card. Repeat with 3-4 different task cards and rotate roles.
  • Have students reflect as a class about the experience and how it relates to having a growth mindset.
  • Have students create a comic illustrating a character demonstrating perseverance and optimistic self-talk through a challenging task.


  • Have students share their comics with their original scenario task group.
  • Remind students that we have the power to respond to situations either positively or negatively. We can change our emotional state by changing our self-talk. 
  • By practicing how we respond to challenging situations, we can teach ourselves to find positive ways to view obstacles and handle difficult situations. When we do this, we can see even the worst situations in life as personal growth.
  • Share that the optimist has a growth mindset but the pessimist does not.


  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature.
  • Allow students to work in pairs or groups as needed.
  • Allow students to use the voiceover to read their comics aloud.
  • Provide a list of scenarios for students to select from for the activity.
  • Provide “optimistic” and “pessimistic” sentence starters.
  • Provide a bank of questions for the “facilitator” role.


Suggested Story Starters: