Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success.


Watch the TED talk, listen carefully and answer the questions below:


Comprehension Questions


  1. How old was she when she left her management job?


  1. What did she teach to seventh graders?


  1. What did she study at graduate school?


  1. What does she think is the most shocking thing about grit?


  1. What is the best idea for building grit in kids called?




Gap – fill


Watch the video again from 04:52 to 05:29 and fill in the blanks:


So far, the best idea I’ve (6) _____ about building grit in kids is something called “growth mindset.” This is an (7) _____ developed at Stanford University by Carol Dweck, and it is the belief that the ability to learn is not fixed, that it can (8) _______ with your effort. Dr. Dweck has shown that when kids read and learn about the (9) _______and how it changes and grows in response to challenge, they’re much more likely to persevere when they fail, because they don’t believe that failure is a (10) __________ condition.



True or False?


Listen to the material again and answer true or false to the following statements:


  1. Grit is usually unrelated to measures of talent.


  1. Growth mindset is a great idea for building grit.


  1. She started studying grit in New York public schools.


  1. She went with her research team to West Point Naval Academy.


  1. Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals.





  1. 27
  2. math
  3. psychology
  4. how little we know about it
  5. growth mindset
  6. heard
  7. idea
  8. change
  9. brain
  10. permanent
  11. (T)
  12. (T)
  13. (F) it was in Chicago public schools
  14. (F) they went to West Point Military Academy
  15. (T)