Rethinking your mindset

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Vocabulary - challenges and development

speaking lesson plan


With this speaking lesson plan, students watch a video about growth and fixed mindsets and get plenty of opportunities to discuss them. They also learn some collocations referring to challenges and development, as well as practise word formation

B1 / Intermediate
B2 / Upper Intermediate
60 minStandard LessonFree / Premium Plan


The speaking lesson plan starts with a brainstorming activity in which students come up with some possible connections between four words: ability, challenge, improve, fail. Then, they read what a mindset is and discuss how a person’s mindset can change. They also try to figure out the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset with the help of an image representing the two. Next, students complete gaps in a short paragraph and watch the first part of a video to check their answers. Before the second viewing, students create collocations by matching their halves (e.g. take a risk, avoid challenges, be likely to succeed). Then, they read five statements (e.g. sees life as a journey of improvement) and decide if each of them describes a growth mindset or a fixed mindset. Finally, they watch the second part of the video and check their answers to the previous exercise. 


This part of the speaking lesson plan starts with a multiple choice task in which students choose the correct form of a word (e.g. developed, development, develop). Then, they discuss the questions from the previous exercise. The questions refer to the video and students’ own experience related to mindset. After that, students use what they learned from the video, as well as the vocabulary from the lesson, to do one of two speaking tasks. In the first one, they choose a company or an institution, and discuss if they have a growth mindset by answering five questions (e.g. How does the organization see achievement and failure?). In the second exercise, students discuss which of the images and slogans are suitable for a campaign to support pupils who face learning challenges. Finally, they choose an image and a slogan and explain their decision to the rest of the class



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Leave a Reply

  1. katia

    Just a quick note to compliment you guys on the great work you have been doing, providing us teachers the opportunity to broaden our minds and help our students to broaden theirs by using these intriguing and updated topics. And what´s even better, free!!!
    Congrats and thank you so much,

    Kátia Oliveira

    1. Ewa

      Thanks, Katia! It’s our pleasure 🙂

    2. Pamela Gere

      My students loved it. Thank you so much. I will definetly use other lesson plans too.

      1. Ewa

        That is really good to hear. Enjoy!

  2. Soul Blind

    Congrats on this exceptional speaking lesson. I’d like more lessons that focus on speaking, please.
    Looking forward to using this with my students.

    You guys keep up the good work!

    1. Ewa

      Thanks, Soul. Much appreciated 🙂

  3. Мария Сокол

    Thank you so much for your work! Very interesting, useful and informative!!! I really appreciate what you do.

    Ukraine ( blees y’all )

    1. Ewa

      Hi Mary, thank you for you comment! I’m glad you enjoy ESL Brains!

  4. Лилия Алтаева

    Thanks a lot for these worksheets! So well-developed, structured and full of ideas.

    1. Ewa

      Thank you! Hope your students enjoy the lesson 🙂

  5. Inna Vainraukh


    1. Ewa

      Thank you 🙂

  6. Ed sousa

    Nice and sweet. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Ewa

      Thanks 🙂

  7. Lucia Moar

    Great lesson plan! Thank you! I’ve adapted some of the activities there and wanted to share them with the community.

    1) Vocabulary expansion – Synonyms
    These are phrases taken from the video about fixed vs growth mindset. Watch the video again. Pay attention to what the speaker says and change the bolded words with exactly what he says.

    1 The fixed mindset suggests that your abilities are 1 *unlearned* and 2 *immutable*.
    2 With a growth mindset you see 3 *fiasco* as a chance to learn and even 4 *change the way it’s done*.
    3 If talent is fixed, why 5 *spend your energy and time* improving?
    4 But with a growth mindset you’re more likely to 6 *adopt* challenging tasks.
    5 In a fixed mindset the focus is on 7 *quantifiable* accomplishments.
    1 unlearned – innate
    2 immutable – unchangeable
    3 fiasco – failure
    4 change the way it’s done – pivot
    5 spend time and energy – bother
    6 adopt – embrace
    7 quantifiable – measurable

    2) Multiple choice exercise:

    To review the synonyms, the following class we played a simple game to help students remember them. Each st. was given two sets of words and had to describe them or say an example to help their partners guess what words they got.

    I hope you find this useful!

    1. Ewa

      Thanks for sharing!

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