Teaching Growth Mindset: 3 Fun Read-Alouds and Bulletin Board Freebie!

We all want our students to become individuals who attack challenges head-on, see themselves as capable, and try things again. 

Growth mindset has become a massive focus in the classroom to help accomplish this goal. 

And you might be looking for a fresh way to talk about this with your students. 

What better way than read-alouds? 

Picture books are great for any age- (even upper elementary!) and are amazing ways to start discussions in the classroom. 

Here are three awesome read-aloud options that all give growth mindset examples and a FREE bulletin board display to tie everything together 🥳

This image shows a growth mindset bulletin board display. There are two columns, one with the heading "Instead of" and the other with the heading "Try thinking". Under each column are phrases with arrows to move you from the fixed mindset phrase to the growth mindset phrase. The words on the picture read "Freebie - Teaching growth mindset: fun read-alouds and bulletin board freebie!"

Giraffes Can’t Dance 

This image shows the cover of the book "Giraffes Can't Dance". The image is an illustration of a giraffe flipping in the air.

(Giraffes Can’t Dance is written by Giles Andreae and illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees.) 

This adorable book is a classic, and is probably my favorite one!

It is about a Giraffe seeing all of his jungle friends dancing, and them telling him that he can’t dance.

Later he finds his cricket friend, who encourages him and he eventually learns to dance! 

After reading this book, I would ask students what is something that at first they thought they couldn’t do, but with lots of practice, or a different strategy, they learned that they could? 

There are so many great classroom discussions that can come after reading this book 🙂

If you don’t own the book but would like to share it with your class soon, here is a YouTube version of the book being read aloud! 🙂

After the Fall 

This image is the cover of the book "After the Fall". The image is an illustration of an egg dressed in a suit and tie sitting on top of a wall with a pair of binoculars.

(After the Fall is written and illustrated by Dan Santat.)

Introduce your students to a different perspective on the Humpty Dumpty story – his own! 

In this book, students walk with Humpty in the days after his big fall. 

They see how his fear limits him from things he loves and enjoys. And they watch his plans hatch for how he overcomes those fears. 

After reading this book, I would talk to my students about how accidents and mistakes can make things in life feel scary, and how what we tell ourselves really does matter. 🙂

Here is a YouTube version of this read-aloud:

The Magical Yet

This image is the cover of the book "The Magical Yet". The illustration is a drawing of a girl wearing a helmet riding a bike with a fairy-like creature on top of her helmet.

(The Magical Yet is written by Angela DiTerlizzi and illustrated by Lorena Alvarez.) 

This book is a treasure trove of relatable growth mindset examples for your students! 

After reading this book, I would engage students in a discussion about things they have learned how to do. You could talk about the challenges those activities or skills brought! Or you could discuss with each other in what you are currently learning and practicing. 🙂

Here is a YouTube version of this book being read aloud! 

Growth Mindset Examples Bulletin Board  

Tie all of your discussions about growth mindset examples together with a bulletin board display! 

This image shows a growth mindset bulletin board display. There are two columns, one with the heading "Instead of" and the other with the heading "Try thinking". Under each column are phrases with arrows to move you from the fixed mindset phrase to the growth mindset phrase. One example of the phrases is "I can't do this" with arrows pointing to "I can try a different strategy."

This ready-to-print display gives students practical ways to start recognizing when they are not using a growth mindset. 

And the display will give your students an easy way to change up their thinking and start embracing a different mindset. 

The best part? It’s FREE! 🎉

Add this display to your classroom today!! 

Setup Tips 

Here are some tips I have to create a fantastic display in your classroom. 

➡️ This display has MANY different quotes, so giving yourself more space vertically instead of horizontally is best. 

➡️ Use washi tape as you set up your display to make sure you have space 

➡️ Check out more of my bulletin board hacks in this post 

This image shows a close-up of a growth mindset bulletin board display. There are two columns, one with the heading "Instead of" and the other with the heading "Try thinking". Under each column are phrases with arrows to move you from the fixed mindset phrase to the growth mindset phrase.

Here are some tips on how to use this bulletin board to tie your read-aloud times together. 

✨ Have conversations with your students about which quotes go best with which books 

✨ Encourage your students to create “Instead of….Try Thinking” based on the examples the characters gave in the stories or examples from their own lives 

✨ Put up one quote at a time based on the read-aloud, or show your students the quote before reading the story and see if they can come up with the “Try Thinking” part on their own

Teaching growth mindset to your students is SUCH a fun part of your day! 

Adding some cute, light-hearted picture books to this time only makes it better. 

If you are loving the bulletin board display colors, check out other pieces included in my Modern Calm Colors classroom decor bundle. 

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