This activity was used in my "Environmental Data Analysis" course on the first day of class, before giving an introduction to growth mindset (see original powerpoint posted on BIOMAAP).
Cut out enough slips of paper for each of your students, half for one of the prompt and half for the other prompt. Give half of the students in the class one of the prompts and the other half of the students the other prompt (it is easiest if you divide it by the side of the classroom they are on), and tell the students to spend a few minutes coming up with responses to the prompt. Do not tell the students there are two different prompts.
After students are given a few minutes to work on this, take ideas from the class and write down the responses on the board. Write down their responses in two different lists (one corresponding to each prompt), but do not title them. Tell students it is ok if one of their responses is the same as something already on the board. Once you have a handful of responses in each list (and likely you will find there is a lot of overlap between the two lists), ask one student from each side of the room to read their prompt and then title the two lists. Students may be surprised to find that some students said "math" or "music" or "baseball" was an area they associated with long hours of practice but that other students said "math" or "music" or "baseball" was an area they associated with natural talent. Use this to introduce the idea of growth mindset vs. fixed mindset and then can solidify these concepts through the "Introduction to Growth Mindset" powerpoint.
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