August 10, 2017

My #pb10for10 - Picture Books to Promote a Growth Mindset

I’m thrilled to be joining the picture book 10 for 10 fun again this year!  I enjoy the challenge of creating a meaningful list for myself and others, as well as reading all the wonderful lists posted by the community.  

My past 10 for 10 picture book collections:

Along with academics, educators also teach students valuable life skills.  We teach students to be creative, problem solve, collaborate with others, communicate well, persevere despite obstacles, be flexible and a life-long learner, and to learn from failure and mistakes.  To support these efforts, I’ve created a list of growth mindset picture books:

1. The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

This book is about a young girl who enjoys creating things and decides to build something truly special.  But making her vision a reality isn’t easy.   From her efforts, children see the importance of not giving up when an idea doesn't initially work out.  It’s important to try your hardest and don’t give up, even when things are confusing, difficult, or frustrating.  

2. What to do With an Idea by Kobi Yamada

All of us have ideas!  This book inspires students to take an idea - whether little, big, odd, or difficult -  and give it space to grow.  With a little encouragement, an idea can become something amazing.  

3. It’s Okay to Make Mistakes by Todd Parr

In a colorful and kid-friendly way, Todd Parr encourages readers to get back up if they fall down.  This book shows children that mistakes are okay - that’s how you learn!

4. Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle by Chris Raschka

Doing something new can be scary and hard.  It can even make you want to quit!  This book encourages students to try and try again (even if you fail) in a way that students can relate to.  It portrays a growth mindset perfectly.  

5. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty

This is a story of creativity and perseverance.  Rosie Revere constructs great inventions, but she gets laughed at and becomes afraid to show them to others.  Then she finds encouragement from a great-great aunt who teaches Rosie to celebrate both her hits and misses. I love the overall message; things may not always go as planned, but celebrate your successes and learn from failure.

6. Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg

This fun book truly supports a growth mindset message.  Over and over it shows how problems can be turned into something great.  The back reads, “When you think you have made a mistake, think of it as an opportunity to make something beautiful!”

7. Emmanual’s Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson & Sean Qualls

This book tells the true story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah.  He was born with one working leg, but learned to walk to school, play soccer, work a job to earn money for his family, and ride a bike.  He cycled four hundred miles across Ghana (with only one leg) to spend his powerful message: disability does not mean inability.  

8. The OK Book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal & Tom Lichtenheld

This book’s character is a stick figure that looks like the work “OK” turned on it’s side.  He likes to try a lot of things.  He’s not great at these activities, he’s just okay.  He knows he’ll be great at something someday, and he’s having fun figuring it out along the way.  I love the overall message of this book; try new things, have fun, and it’s okay if you’re not perfect.

9. Your Fantastic Elastic Brain by Dr. JoAnn Deak

This book reads a little like a picture book and a little like a nonfiction book.  It reinforces a growth mindset by teaching kids that with effort their brain grows and gets stronger:
  • Things are hard at first, but get easier if you keep trying.  
  • Making mistakes is one of the best ways your brain learns and grows.  
  • The harder you try without giving up, the more you will learn.  

10. Thanks for the Feedback, I Think by Julia Cook

This is a social story about accepting feedback in a productive way.  It teaches children what it means to receive positive and negative feedback, how to respond appropriately, and learn to accept and grow from criticism and compliments.