The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Growth Mindset activities, lesson plans, and craftivity
I can’t say enough about this new picture book by Ashley Spires. This inspiring story presents the idea of perseverance and growth mindset to young kids.The little girl and her dog plan to build the most magnificent thing. Along the way, things don’t turn out the way they plan. They fail and try again many times. Eventually, the girl becomes frustrated and quits when she slams her finger. Her dog convinces her to take a walk to rejuvenate. When they return, her renewed enthusiasm helps them achieve their goal and they finally build the most magnificent thing.
This story is perfect for teaching a character’s response to events and challenges and looking closely at character traits. See how I meet other tricky core standards here. “The Most Magnificent Thing” is a great back-to-school read-aloud for teaching children to overcome difficult things and how to have a growth mindset. As a class we spent 3 days diving deep into this book. By asking text dependent questions that got increasingly more challenging, my students developed a good understanding of the plot. More importantly, the close read gave us the opportunity to really study the text and illustrations to help us understand the character by analyzing her thoughts, feelings, and motivations.
I guided my class to realize that through the girl’s struggles, she learns how to have a growth mindset. We had a great conversation about the importance of a growth mindset in first grade. My class came up with a list of things they can do when something gets hard in class. Then as a culminating writing task, I asked my students to write about how they can overcome challenging things. We shared our writing and posted our work on our bulletin board to remind us to have a growth mindset when classroom work and tasks become challenging throughout the year. Here is an example of the writing assignment next to the growth mindset craftivity. The students especially loved creating their own magnificent thing for the craft.