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The Magical Yet: Teaching a Growth Mindset

“The Magical Yet” by Angela DiTerlizzi is a fun book to share with students that encourages perseverance and self-esteem. It is an inspiring and colorful story that helps students connect to characters' frustrations when they cannot do something “yet.” The illustrations illuminate the pages and catch student's attention while the message is relatable and important for students. It is all about what is “yet” to come and the importance of trying, even when things feel challenging. If things do not go right the first time, that doesn't mean they can't or won't.

“The Magical Yet” is a beautiful story written with a rhythmic pattern that keeps students listening and learning. The relatable scenarios and real-life situations make it easy for kids to connect and see themselves in the feelings and frustrations described. It is a great book to introduce or revisit growth mindset and lends itself to some great activities to get students thinking.

Skills to teach with “The Magical Yet”:

  • Making connections
  • Theme
  • Inferences
  • Characters
  • Main idea

5 Favorite “The Magical Yet” Activities

“The Magical Yet” is a great book to read and make connections, discuss inferences, the main idea, and theme but also leads to great discussions about growth mindset and the power of yet.  It helps students open their minds to trying new things, helps them embrace their mistakes, overcome frustrations or failures, encourages resilience, and promotes their self-esteem. It really gives students something to think about and there are so many great activities and conversations you can have together. Here are a few activities that you can do with your students after reading the book:

1. Overcoming Challenges

The story talks about times when things do not go as planned. This is a great opportunity to help students reflect on times when they felt ready to quit or give up because things were not going their way.

Students can think about a time when they tried something that was more challenging than they thought it would be. How did they feel? Did they continue on? What did they learn from that situation?

2. Growth Mindset

The author truly paints a picture that students can see themselves in. The character cannot ride a bike, which may be a struggle that many students have faced, or something similar. Students can relate to the real-life situations in the story while making connections to their own challenges they may have overcome.

I love “The Magical Yet” because of the honest situations the author tells. Many times students think that challenges have to be huge struggles in their lives and they are unable to connect unless they have had some sort of hardship, but looking at a character that is struggling with things they have also struggled with helps them reflect and truly see how they applied a growth mindset.

Students can reflect on something that they could NOT do before but they CAN now. They can write about something that they could not do and tell about what they can do now.

3. Trying New Things

One important theme of the book is trying something even when it may seem scary. We can shift our mindset from feeling nervous about trying something new to thinking, “I just can't do this YET.” And with practice and perseverance, they can achieve what they thought was too much for them.

And again, when thinking about trying something new, the book makes it easy for students to choose something that they'd like to try. The character's relatable feelings and challenges help students see that no challenge is too big OR too small.

Students can write about something that they would like to try but have felt too nervous to give it a shot. They can write about what they'd like to try and explain their feelings.

4. Write a Letter

One of my favorite activities to have students complete when reading “The Magical Yet,” is to write a letter to themselves. They can think of encouraging words and inspirations to write that would be encouraging in times when they feel like they want to give up or when they feel they can't do something. Sometimes we are our own worst critics and writing down encouraging words is easier than believing these things. These letters are great to pull out for students on days when they may feel down, need a pick me up, are having a bad day, or to show them when they have accomplished a goal.

5. Learning from Mistakes

An important aspect of teaching a growth mindset is helping students understand that mistakes happen…to everyone! And it is how we deal with and learn from those mistakes that help shape us into who we are. Each mistake is an opportunity for us to learn.

Students can write about how they can learn when they make a mistake and reflect on times when mistakes helped them grow.

“The Magical Yet” is a wonderful book to share with your students. Many students will be able to connect to the challenges shared. You will be able to discuss growth mindset and reinforce students beliefs that in your classroom, they truly can do anything they put their mind to!

I hope you and your students love it!

You can grab a free one-page guide for using this book in your classroom here:

You can find more of my favorite read-aloud books HERE.

And read more about why I think reading aloud is so important HERE.

You might also like to read more about these books:

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Happy Teaching!

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