Growth Mindset Open House Projects

Open House Projects that promote Growth Mindset and teach critical ELA skills?  Yes, please!  Check out my favorite Open House project that is not only educational, visually appealing, meaningful, but it's also easy to create!  This Open House activity checks all the boxes!

Spoiler Alert:  There's a free Open House Activity in this blog post! It's a free growth mindset activity that aligns with the Open House project ideas I'm discussing today.

Are you overwhelmed by Open House?  I know I've spent many years in absolute panic about what projects and student work to put on display for children and their families during Open House and/or Parent Night events.  That's why I'm always on the hunt for Open House activities that check all my Open House "boxes."  In my quest for the perfect Open House project, I'm always looking for ideas that are...

  1. EDUCATIONAL - I don't like open house projects that are just "fillers."  No crafts for the sake of doing crafts.  I like open house projects that have some "meat" to them.  I want them to showcase students' learning and their development as students, after all.
  2. VISUALLY APPEALING - While a lot of things might fulfill criteria #1, many aren't very interesting to look at.  So, I like open house projects that have a bit of pizzazz to them.
  3. MEANINGFUL - This is important to me.  I want the work that students are creating to have meaning to them.  If the project can tie into a theme that is important to our classroom culture, then all the better.
  4. EASY - Now, I don't mean "easy" as in not challenging for students.  I mean, easy in terms of being pretty straightforward to make and create.

I was discussing my Open House dreams with my friend, Jenny, from Art with Jenny K. and she mentioned her super popular Growth Mindset collaborative posters.  Have you seen them?  They're incredible! They are two huge posters that students complete by working together.  
Each student completes a portion of the poster and then in the end they create an enormous and visually stunning poster that showcases 14 leaders and pioneers from history that had a growth mindset.  

Jenny's suggestion sparked an idea.  It got me thinking, how could the collaborative posters be combined with a project that students could complete independently?  And then, the Growth Mindset Research Project was born...and even evolved into something that works great for Open House.  The best part?  You guessed it!  It checks all my "Open House boxes!"

Growth Mindset Research Project

1.  IT'S EDUCATIONAL!  - During the Growth Mindset Project students practice their reading comprehension skills while reading an informational text about growth mindset.  This activity helps build background about growth mindset because during the research portion of the project they'll need to determine how each famous person demonstrated growth mindset in his/her life.  
Then, students select a person to research.  Who do they research?  A person from Jenny K.'s posters, of course!  

Once students have selected 1 of the 14 people to research, they practice those ever-important researching skills.  What's cool about this project is that the research is framed with specific guided questions so that students aren't overwhelmed by the research process!  It's manageable and meaningful research!
Finally, students compile their research.  Gotta love some nonfiction writing practice!  This is when it gets really fun because students compile their research onto a super cool 3D Growth Mindset Projects...which brings me to #2 on my list!

2.  IT'S VISUALLY APPEALING - OK, this matters especially during Open House.  I've always liked projects that pop and boy do these 3D projects POP!  Students cut out their research subject's image and add all their research onto the back of the project.  Then, they stand them straight up by displaying them on a ring with the person's name and an important quote.  When the classroom is filled with all the 3D famous faces, it's visually appealing and super fun!

#3 - IT'S MEANINGFUL - One of the coolest parts about the project is the way that students are able to connect their research to the ideas of growth mindset.  During the project, students need to determine how the famous person had a growth mindset. It's amazing to see students' interpretations. The act of discovering and recognizing the struggles that each famous person endured and overcame is incredibly meaningful for students. The message about growth mindset and the 14 famous role models around the classroom is incredibly profound!

Students research famous people with a growth mindset during this project.  The end result is a 3D research project!

4.  IT'S EASY - Of course, the project itself is educational and pushes students to learn new skills, but putting together the 3D projects couldn't be more simple. And that's a major plus!

First students read a nonfiction passage about growth mindset.  Then, they get researching famous people with a growth mindset.  The end result is a stunning and creative 3D growth mindset project!

There's something else that's really special about this Growth Mindset Open House Project...and that's how beautifully the research project and Art with Jenny K.'s collaborative posters work together.  

It's the coolest thing when students finish their projects and then receive their piece of the huge the Growth Mindset posters.  Since they have no idea what they're making, their reactions of excitement and amazement are so special when the entire poster is assembled.  

And can we talk about the "wow" factor! This project has it in spades...parents are wowed by the amazing collaborative poster by Art with Jenny K.  Then, they're awed by the 3D projects sitting on top of their children's desks.  When they see that it's more than just the face, but filled with research, they're super impressed.  And when they get the full circle connection with growth mindset, it's like an Open House home run!  

BUT WAIT...there's more!  I've put together a Growth Mindset Open House Freebie that goes along perfectly with the poster and research project! 

Here's how it works.  First, there's a quick flyer about Growth Mindset that students will leave out on their desks.  The flyer quickly explains Growth Mindset for parents.

Then, there's two quick fill-in-the-blank writing prompts.  One will be completed by a parent during Open House and the other will be completed by a student during Open House.

On the writing prompts, parents and students will be writing about a time when they had a Growth Mindset.  After parents and students are done writing, they can have a discussion about growth mindset together.

The act of sharing in this way is incredibly meaningful for parents and students alike.  Just as students were able to find inspiration from the people they researched, they'll be able to discover how Growth Mindset positively impacted their mom or dad's life!

You can find this FREE Growth Mindset activity HERE.  I hope it's helps you have the best Open House in history!

To learn more about Art with Jenny K.'s Growth Mindset collaborative posters click here.  You can check out the Growth Mindset research projects here.

And...if you're looking for more ideas for helping students develop a growth mindset, check out these 9 ways to develop a growth mindset all year long!

Thanks so much for stopping by,

Mary Beth

Open House and Growth Mindset go perfectly together!  Learn all about how combining an interactive growth mindset poster and 3D research projects can make your next Open House a success!  There's even an exclusive Growth Mindset freebie that you can leave out on students' desks during Open House!

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