July 19, 2019
by Meena Srinivasan

Lesson plan

This May Take Time: Growth Mindset

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Grade Subject
  • Students will be able to practice growth mindset by shifting from saying, "This is too hard," to "This may take time."
  • Students will be able to practice slowing down when completing a task.
(15 minutes)
  • Join students in a circle, either seated on the rug or in chairs.
  • Ask, "What happens when we have something that may be challenging to complete? For example, what happens when we have a challenging assignment, sport, or we are just trying something new that's tough?"
  • Listen to their answers, and mention that we may give up or say, "This is too hard."
  • Ask the class, "What may help us when we are faced with a challenge or a new task?"
  • Build upon their answers, and share that we can ask for help and change our mindset if we are faced with a challenge.
  • Explain that today, we will be practicing changing our mindset and using the phrase, "This may take time," instead of "This is too hard," when faced with a tough task.
  • Tell students that they will watch a video about a woman who has "differing-abilities." This woman is a famous artist who does not have arms, but she's able to paint with her feet.
  • Explain that this woman, Swapna Augustine, is one of the many painters who are part of the global Mouth and Foot Painting Association.
  • Show the "Armless Artist's Incredible Paintings" video.
  • Afterwards, ask the class, "What qualities do you think this woman has to be able to paint such incredible pieces with her feet?"
  • Build upon their answers, and share that the artist must have determination, tolerance, patience, and the capacity to slow down.
  • Ask, "What may help us use the mindset (similar to Swapna Augustine's) that challenging things 'may take time'?"
  • Build upon their answers and mention the importance of having patience and slowing down.
  • Write the statement, "This may take time," on the board, and write the students' ideas beneath it. Make sure to include "patience" and "slowing down."
  • Tell them that today, we will be practicing slowing down and using patience when completing a task.
  • Ask students what patience means to them. Write their answers on the board, along with the following definition of patience: "to accept or tolerate challenges without getting angry or upset."
(10 minutes)
  • Ask the class to think about what helps us be patient when faced with a challenge. (Give them 30–60 seconds to consider this question.)
  • Then, ask them to turn to a partner and share their ideas.
  • Have the class collectively share what helps us to be patient and tolerate challenging tasks. Offer some suggestions, such as feeling our breath, slowing down, and using mindfulness.
  • Talk in slow motion, and tell the students that we will all be practicing slowing down.
  • Ask them to slowly take a few deep breaths into their bellies, and to feel their bellies rise and fall. (Pause.)
  • Tell them to stand up as slowly as they possibly can.
  • Guide them to feel their hands, feet, and whole body as they move slowly.
  • Tell them to slowly sit down again, using awareness of their bodies.
  • Afterwards, ask them what they noticed and how the exercise felt. Was it challenging or easy?
  • Explain that it takes practice to be able to slow down, especially when faced with a challenge. Sometimes, we want to rush right through things that are difficult!
(15 minutes)
  • Distribute blank paper to students, and explain that they are going to be practicing patience while they write their name slowly.
  • On the board, model how to very slowly write your name three times.
  • Have the students complete this first task on their own.
  • Afterwards, ask them what they noticed when they tried writing their name in slow motion. How did it feel?
  • Tell them that the task will get more challenging. Now, they need to write their names with their non-dominant hands.
  • Tell them to notice if they have any thoughts like, "This will be hard."
  • Then, have the class say the following statement out loud: "This may take time."
  • Tell them to take their time and write their name with their non-dominant hand three times.
  • Afterwards, ask them what they noticed when trying to complete this exercise. How did it feel? Was it easy or difficult?
  • Now, tell the students that their new task is to write their names with their non-dominant hands, but with their eyes closed.
  • Again, ask them to notice if they have any thoughts like, "This will be hard."
  • Have them repeat the following statement: "This may take time."
  • Tell the class to take a few deep breaths, then to take their time to write their name with their non-dominant hand and eyes closed. Ask them to do this as slowly as they can.
  • Afterwards, ask the students what they noticed and how this exercise felt.
  • Ask, "How can it be helpful to use the phrase, 'This may take time'? How does this connect to the artist in the video?"
(25 minutes)
  • Explain to students that they will explore what it is like to draw and paint with their foot by using the mindset "it may take time" to build patience and tolerance.
  • Hand out and review the instructions on the Building Patience Through Art worksheet.
  • Model how you would paint using your foot. Pause, take deep breaths, say, "This may take time," and work very slowly.
  • Ask students if they have any questions.
  • Pass out art supplies (papers, colored pencils, paints), and have them begin working.

Enrichment: Ask advanced students to design a more intricate painting with their foot.


  • Ask struggling students to only paint or draw a circle for the independent activity.
  • Work with a small group of students to help them paint with their feet.
(5 minutes)
  • Notice how students are perservering when painting with their feet. Are they patient? Do they get frustrated? Assess what strategies they are using.
(10 minutes)
  • Bring the class back together in a circle, and ask them to bring their paintings.
  • Place the paintings and worksheets up around the room.
  • Ask students to walk around and observe their classmates' paintings and answers to questions about building tolerance and patience.
  • Afterwards, ask them to share some takeaways from today's lesson.
  • Ask the students, "What is the phrase we have been working with today?" (Answer: "This may take time.")
  • Ask them to share how slowing down and building patience may help them. Have them elaborate on how slowing down and building patience may help their classmates, school and community.
  • Ask students where and when they might use the phrase "This may take time" to slow down.

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