Improve life outcomes

Jumpstart: Power of Yet - Universal


CASEL Competency Focus: Self-Management
Time: 20-30 minutes
Materials: Paper for Students, Writing Utensils, Chalk/White Board

1. Identify, state or point to tasks or activities that are hard or they cannot do.
2. Use the word yet to indicate they believe a challenge is a way to learn something new and possible for them to learn.

Definitions of Key Terms:

  • Yet: up until this moment; as of now; by now or then.
  • Challenge: something that requires a lot of physical and/or brain power; a test of a person’s ability.

Lesson Procedures

Introduction: We know words have power. They can build us up or tear us down. One of the most empowering words is three simple Letters; Y,E,T. Just by adding yet to the end of a sentence can make what seems impossible possible. Whether it is learning a new skill or playing a sport, it is important to remind students there are things we are not able to do…YET. Just as important as trying and trying again is the belief in yourself that you are capable of achieving your goal.

Game Time: I CAN!

In this activity students will identify what they CAN do now. Recognizing what we can do helps us remember that we must all LEARN how to do most things. Provide each student with a piece of paper and a writing utensil. Instruct the students to write the words “I CAN” in big bold letters in the middle of the page. Have students brainstorm a short list of activities/subjects they CAN do. Foster a conversation by reviewing student responses and asking “Have you always known how to do these things?” “Was this easy for you to learn?” “What steps did you take to be able to say, ‘I can do this?” Consider displaying the students’ work as a visual reminder of what they have already accomplished.


Drawing on the “I CAN” statements, encourage students to take a moment and think about something they can’t do…YET…but would like to learn. Once the student decides what they would like to do, have them think about what they need in order to accomplish the task. Do they need practice? Do they need help? Do they need to be a little older? Write the following sentence on the board. instruct students to complete the statement. To differentiate instruction, consider allowing students to respond by writing complete sentences, fill in the blanks, or draw a picture.

I can’t ____________ YET! I need to ______________ so I can reach my goal!

Try it out!

Thinking affirming thoughts about ourselves and abilities is a great way to embrace the Power of YET and keep a Growth Mindset. Oftentimes we are not aware of the thoughts and statements our minds are processing. Ask students to be mindful of the comments they make about themselves and their abilities. If they notice “negative” self-talk, have them follow up with a positive statement about who they are and what they can do. Encourage them to share positive thoughts about others as well.