What Do You Do With a Chance? Activities and Review

Are you teaching your students about growth mindset? Do you need resources to help your students understand the value of taking risks? What Do You Do With a Chance by Kobi Yamada is the perfect segue for students to understand the value in taking chances and risks. Here are some suggested activities that you can use with What Do You Do With a Chance?

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I am a Kobi Yamada picture book groupie.  If you’ve read his What Do You Do books, you already know what I mean.  It’s rare that a picture book author can convey such powerful messages in so few words.  Read on for a book review and classroom activities for What Do You Do With a Chance?

What Do You Do With a Chance?: Book Review

In this story, the little boy wasn’t sure what to do when he stumbled upon a chance.  He didn’t know if he should take the chance or if he should let it go. Eventually, he decided to let it go.  He regretted his decision and wished he’d had the courage to grab it.  The next time a chance came around, he decided to go for it, but he missed and fell.  Feeling defeated, his disappointment and frustration prevented him from taking new chances.  For a time, he didn’t notice any new chances or opportunities. He began to worry that he might not get another one.  He wondered if he’d even be brave enough to take a chance if one came along.  Ultimately, he came up with a surefire strategy to overcome his fear and knew he’d be ready the next time a chance came around.

But… did a new chance ever come again?  Maybe, maybe not.

I don’t want to spoil the ending for you.  ?

The love I have for this story runs deep.  I believe that failure equals growth, that individual potential is limitless, and that mistakes make us better.  I believe in the power of yet, the malleability of the brain, and that perseverance is the key to success.

In a nutshell, I believe in this book.  I believe in it because it’s rooted in taking risks. It is the epitome of growth mindset wrapped up in a 32-page picture book.  It covers a handful of growth mindset topics… all in one little package.

Growth Mindset Topics Covered:

  • Taking risks
  • Facing challenges
  • Fear of failure
  • Making mistakes
  • Overcoming fear
  • Embracing failure
  • Harnessing courage and bravery
  • The power of yet

Growth Mindset Activities for Your Students:

If you’re teaching your students about growth mindset, this story must be included in your arsenal.  There are so many things you can do with it in your classroom.  Choose one or more of the following activities, which can be done with the entire class, small groups, at learning stations, or as early finisher activities.

  • Lead a discussion based on the concepts in the story.
    • Why is it difficult to take risks sometimes?
    • Should some chances be ignored?  Why or why not?
    • How often do you reach for chances?  What usually happens?
    • Can chances be created?  If so, how?
    • Describe a chance you took.  What happened?
  • Create a WANTED POSTER with the title WANTED: A CHANCE.  Students can use the space on their individual posters to describe a chance they’d like to take in the future.
  • Discuss risks (chances) that students take at home, at school, and in their community.  How are they the same and how are they different?
  • Introduce the words PRO and CON.  Come up with a risk or a chance (asking a new friend to play, trying out for the school play, or something as simple as trying a new food).  Brainstorm a list of pros and cons for each choice.  Ask students how making a list of pros and cons might be beneficial in their own lives.
  • Discuss vocabulary related to What Do You Do With a Chance?  Words might include chance, extraordinary, risk, challenge, and outcome.
  • Have fun!  The Kobi Yamada trilogy of picture books will help students reflect on their own vulnerability and to embrace every single part of themselves.  Enjoy watching your students grow through these books!

Growth mindset activities for What Do You Do With a Chance? by Kobi Yamada

Growth mindset activities and vocabulary for What Do You Do With a Chance? by Kobi Yamada

Next Steps:

You can see my reviews for Maybe, What Do You Do With and Idea? and What Do You Do With a Problem? here.  I love those books for so many reasons, but I have to say that What Do You Do With a Chance? is a new favorite.

If you’d like more information about ready-made activities to go with this trilogy of books, you can check them out here:

Enjoy this new masterpiece and share your comments or activity ideas in the comments!

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I am Kirsten Tulsian, an elementary educator with 18 years of experience as a teacher and counselor. My passion lies in empowering students to discover their inherent brilliance through the use of engaging, rigorous, and meaningful activities. I look forward to connecting with you!

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