SPARKLERS / Resilience & growth

My Amazing Brain!

Fostering a growth mindset and celebrating akoranga (learning).
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Print me!

For this activity, each student will need a copy of our Amazing brain worksheet.

Why we love it

This activity fosters a growth mindset by celebrating the process of trying new things, making mistakes and persevering with something we initially find tricky.

Research shows that children who are praised for qualities they can control like effort and giving things a go achieve better results than those who are praised for being ‘clever’ or getting something right.

On that note! We can foster a growth mindset by helping our tamariki see the value of making mistakes and persevering. E.g. We can change complaints of: ‘I can’t do it!’ to ‘I can’t do it yet.’ OR ‘This is too hard’ to ‘This is hard right now.’


To get the ideas flowing, start by asking:

  • What are your favourite things to work on at school?
  • What about at home?
  • What hobbies and interests do you like trying new things in?
  • Watch (on YouTube):
    - Brain Jump With Ned the Neuron
    - Sesame Street do Growth Mindset
  • Why is it important to make mistakes? Because that is how we find out what works, what doesn’t and what we need to do differently to get better.

Reinforce that learning isn’t just something we do with pen and paper. We’re learning any time we give something a go, or stick at something tricky.

What to do

After your kōrero, hand out our Amazing Brain worksheet and ask them to complete sections 1-3. Review and celebrate their answers, then before moving to section 4, ask:

  • What are some interesting topics you'd like to know more about?
  • What about a skill? What’s something you’d like to be able to do?

Give tamariki a chance to complete section 4 then regroup and finish with a general kōrero about the learning process.

How might we feel:

  • When we try something new? Excited, nervous, intrigued.
  • When we’re struggling to get the hang of it? Determined, frustrated, amused.
  • When it starts to get easier? Excited, hopeful, “aha!!”
  • When we master the skill or finally understand? Happy, proud, confident.
  • What does this process tell us? That it’s okay/normal to not be able to do things straight away. That we have to give things a go and work through the tricky stages, to get the feeling of success.
  • What can we tell ourselves when we’re finding something hard? This is only my first time. This will get easier. Things often start off hard, then I get the hang of them.

It can be helpful to remember that even our idols (Olympians, singers, actors, authors, etc) were once beginners, just like us!

What next?

Celebrate students' strengths with our Superheroes activity.

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