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Lesson FIVE Overview - The Power of YET


Lower Primary

Growth Mindset







Students will:

  • Explain the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset

  • Explore the power of yet by changing I Can’t thoughts to I Can’t Yet

  • Learn how to overcome obstacles and frustrations

  • Learn about I Can’t Yet Goal setting


KEY VOCABULARY: growth mindset, fixed mindset, I Can’t Yet, goal setting, negative, positive, thoughts, behaviour, brain, stretch.



  • Ball

  • I Can’t Yet structure

  • Scissors 

  • 20 business cards (3 for each student)

  • Access to computer

  • ‘The Fish Who Could Fly’, by Leonard W. Lambert

  • Alternative activity - Origami Paper (for making origami fish)


Instructions for 'I Can't YET Structure' and Origami Fish. Download here.

Background Information


Changing our I Can’t thoughts to I Can’t Yet encourages a positive attitude and a growth mindset.  Growth Mindset is a concept developed by Carol Dweck, a professor of Psychology at Stanford University.  A Growth mindset is a belief that a person’s abilities and intelligence can be developed through practice, hard word, dedication and motivation.  A fixed mindset is a belief that intelligence taken alone will lead to success and that they are fixed and cannot be developed or improved upon.  Changing the way students perceive their own abilities and potential can drastically improve their performance.  Too often students live in the now rather than the yet and as a result, they focus on their limitations rather than their potential.  Today’s lesson begins with a challenge.  Students are given a challenge before reflecting on their words (self-talk) and mind-set during the challenge.  Students learn how to overcome obstacles and frustrations by setting goals.


Lesson Plan

Introduce Lesson and Review Previous Lesson


Review the previous sessions by asking students to remember what was covered in the last session. Shape students’ responses to reflect the learning intent from the previous lesson. Revise Group guidelines.


Welcome back.  Last week we talked about I Can thoughts and I Can’t Thoughts.  Remember, our thoughts are different from our feelings.  Our thoughts are the ‘talking’ that goes on in our head that no one else can hear.  Our self-talk influences how we feel.  Today we are going to learn how important the talking in our head is when it comes to learning. First, let’s start with our gratitude attitude.


A Gratitude Attitude (5 minutes)

Sit in a circle. Ask each student to share something that they are grateful for or something positive that has happened to them this week. This simple activity is training students to be positive and to have a gratitude attitude.

A gratitude attitude focuses on the NOW!  Try to pay attention and be thankful for what you already have and not worry about what you don’t have.  People with a gratitude attitude are positive, resilient and happy.


Activity 1: I Can’t Yet Structure (15 minutes)

The aim of this activity is to provide students with an opportunity to attempt a difficult task and reflect on their automatic thinking patterns.  This activity can be confronting to some students, and some students may become visibly upset and frustrated as they struggle.  If this happens, use this opportunity to teach the student how their thoughts are influencing how they are feeling and also their behaviour.  

Making the Structure

  • Download the instructions for the 'I Can't YET Structure' here

  • Before students enter the room make the ‘I Can’t Yet’ structure and place is in the middle of the circle where each student is able to easily view it from all angles. 

  • Colour one side of the business card to make it easier for the students to see the details of the structure. Do the same for the students cards. 

I have a challenge for you today.  The challenge involves attempting to make the 'I Can't Yet' Structure.  Here is what the 'I Can't Yet' structure looks like.  You are not allowed to touch it.  You can only look at it from all angles. I will give you two pieces of card, so that you can have two attempts. Are you ready to take up my challenge?

  • Ensure each student has two business cards and a pair of scissors 

  • The students cannot touch the structure, but encourage them to move around it and view it from all angles (or place the structure on a book so that the students can move the book around.

  • Let students approach the task as they would, don't discourage negative thinking or encourage positive thinking

  • Try not to offer any advice or encouragement.

  • While the students are working on their structure, write down what you hear them say on the whiteboard (with no names). Don't make it obvious to them what you doing.

  • Students are allowed two attempts at the structure.

  • After 10 minutes, call the students back to the group. 

Discussion and questions. 


1. Did anyone figure it out?

2. How many attempts did it take?

3. What did you think when you saw the structure?

3. How did you feel when you first saw the structure?

4. How do you feel now?

When we are learning something new and we are finding it difficult, our self-talk which is the talking in our head is really powerful and important.


Refer back to the language that you wrote on the board and say.


While you were busy attempting to make the structure, I was writing down what you were saying. 


Discuss what the students were saying while making the structures and how it made them feel and also their behaviour. 


Pose questions:

1. Was it a negative 'I Can't' thought or a positive 'I Can' thought?

2. How did you you feel?

3. What did you do? Did your thoughts stop you from trying or giving it a go?

When we change our words, we change our mindsets.  Someone with a growth mindset says, ‘I haven’t figured it out yet, but I will’. Our mindset is made up of our beliefs about how smart we are. Our beliefs about how smart we are influence what we can achieve. Our mindset is made up of what we think we can do and what we think we can't do. A growth mindset is when you believe, that through practice, persistence and effort, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.  A fixed mindset is when you believe that how smart you are is fixed and cannot change.  I am going to show you how to make the 'I Can't Yet' structure, but first we are going to read a story about a young fish who believed he could fly.


Activity 2: The Fish Who Could Fly by Leonard W. Lambert (10 minutes)


Read ‘The Fish Who Could Fly’. The book is about a young fish who believes he can truly fly.  The message for children is that they can do anything they put their minds to. Mute the video so that you can read the book to your students. 

Today we are going to be learning about our mindset. Our mindset is made up of our beliefs about how smart we are. We have just learned about how powerful our thoughts are and how they can change how we feel and how we behave. Our beliefs about how smart we believe we are, influence what we can achieve. 


Our MINDSET is made up of what we THINK we can do and what we THINK we can't do!


We are going to read a book about a fish who believed he could truly fly. Let's see what happens to the fish who believed he could do anything!

boy fist pump.jpg

Book Discussion:

1. What did the little fish want to learn to do?

2. How did the other fish react?

3. What did his Mum tell him?

4. What happened?


The flying fish believed he could learn to fly and instead of thinking negative, 'I Can't' thoughts, he believed in himself. 


By changing your words from 'I can't' to 'I can't yet' you change your negative thought to a positive thought.  YET is a really important word.  We can set goals to learn how to do something we can’t do yet, and with a growth mindset, anything is possible. 

Think about something that you can already do.  Something that was hard at first, but with practice and persistence you were able to do it.  Invite students to share.

Now think of something that you can't do yet. Invite students to share.

What do you need to do to learn the new skill?


Activity 3: Goal Setting (5 minutes)

When you want to learn something new, it sometimes helps to break up a goal into small achievable steps.  'The I Can’t Yet structure' that we all tried to make at the beginning of the lesson is a tricky structure to make.  But if we break it down into small achievable steps, we will be able to learn how to make it. It may have seemed impossible, to begin with, but with the right mindset, anything is possible.

Draw steps on the board.  Write under each step a number (step 1, step 2, step 3 and step 4).  Demonstrate each step as the students learn how to make the I Can’t Yet Structure.

4 Steps to follow to make the I Can’t Yet Structure.

1. Fold the paper in half along the long side
2. Fold it back out flat again.
3. Make the cut below to the middle (two on one side, one on the other)
4. The tricky part.  You have to twist the paper. The business card will help you see the different colours as a result of the twist.

Activity 4: How to Make an Origami Fish (10 minutes)

When you want to learn something new, it can help to break up a goal into small achievable steps. It may have seemed impossible, to begin with, but with the right mindset, anything is possible. 


Breaking a goal up into smaller steps will help you feel more confident to achieve your goal. 


We are now going to draw a flying fish! We are going to draw it one step at a time. You may find it tricky, but remember this is your first attempt. You can always try again after our lesson today. Because practice makes progress! With practice, effort and persistence you can learn anything you set your mind to. 


Pause the video after each step and allow time for students to draw each step.  This activity can cause stress to students who strive for perfection or have a fixed mindset, gently remind students of their negative thinking patterns and encourage resilient thinking.

Activity 5: Grow Your Brain (5 minutes)


Did you know our brain is like a muscle and it grows and changes the more you use it?  When you run or jump, your leg muscles get stronger.  When you learn new things your brain get stronger too.  To become smarter, you need to exercise your brain by trying hard things.  If you are always doing easy brain work, you aren’t exercising your brain.  How do you exercise your brain?  By taking on a challenge!

 Watch the following clip: Growth Mindset for Student Class Dojo.

Activity Six: Mistakes are Okay (10 minutes)


Did you know that lots of great inventions were made by mistake? Did you know potato chips, super glue, play-doh and the ice-cream cone were all invented by mistake? 


Is it okay to make a mistake? Making a mistake can leave you feeling frustrated and disappointed. It may mean you have to start over. But mistakes are an important part of learning, especially when you are trying something new.


Group discussion:


Can you think of a time you recently made a mistake?

What did you learn from your mistake?


Watch 'The Magic of Mistakes

Concluding Discussion (5 minutes)


Today we learned that when we change our words in our heads it influences how we feel and what we do.  This week I want you to try to catch any ‘I Can’t’ thoughts that you have and change it to ‘I Can’t Yet’ and then make a plan to figure it out.  If we change our words in our heads from ‘I Can’t’ to ‘I Can’ then anything is possible. 

Close the session: Thank the group for their participation throughout the session.  Encourage them to practice the new skills they learned during the week.  Share with the group an exciting activity that they will do during the next GRIT lesson.

Extra activities:

Download the episode from Bluey called 'Bike'.  The episode is an excellent example of a growth mindset and the children love it!

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