Habits of Mind Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Use this lesson plan to teach your students the 16 habits of the mind. Students read the history of the habits, then learn about each habit in depth before applying their new-found knowledge to an activity.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • provide a brief history of the habits of the mind
  • discuss the 16 habits of the mind and apply them to their personal lives


  • 1 hour


Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.2

Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6-8.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 6-8 texts and topics.


  • Engage students with the topic by asking them to brainstorm characteristics that help them succeed. Start with examples or scenarios, such as 'How do you succeed as a student?' or 'What about you makes you a good athlete?'
  • Allow students to share answers with a partner, then discuss as a group. Record common answers on the board.
  • Tell students they will be learning about habits that help people succeed. Discuss the term 'habit' and then pass out the lesson What are the Habits of the Mind?.
  • Read the first section 'What are Habits of the Mind?' together as a class. Discuss:
    • How did researchers determine there were 16 habits that can be taught to encourage success?
    • What can embodying these 16 habits result in?
    • What was the goal of Costa and Kallick in designing these habits?
  • Now read through the section 'The 16 Habits' with students. After each, allow students to discuss how they embody the habit or what it looks like in others.
  • Ask:
    • Why do these habits help people?
    • Which habits do you feel you have? Which do you want to develop?
    • How are these habits like the list we brainstormed at the beginning of class? What is different?
  • Read the Lesson Summary together, then answer any outstanding questions students may have.

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