The 16 Habits of Mind Instructional Animations are time tested, research-based mental health resources for Grades K-3 and 4-6

For more than 30 years, educators worldwide have used the 16 Habits of Mind, created by Dr. Art Costa and Dr. Bena Kallick of the Global Institute for Habits of Mind.

Listed below is how each of the 16 Habits of Mind Instructional Animations qualifies as a mental health resource for elementary school students.  Linked to each instructional animation is more research information that reinforces the efficacy of each lesson.


Teaching children about persisting fosters resilience, growth mindset, self-efficacy, emotional regulation, goal-setting, and self-awareness. These skills are essential for promoting positive mental health.

Thinking About Your Thinking

Teaching children metacognitive skills contributes to positive mental health outcomes by enhancing self-understanding, resilience, adaptive learning strategies, and overall well-being.

Responding with Wonderment and Awe

Teaching children about responding with wonderment and awe as a mental health skill supports their positive emotions, curiosity, mindfulness, gratitude, perspective-taking, positive mindset, resilience, connection, and social bonds.

Creating, Imagining, and Innovating

By teaching children about creating, imagining, and innovating as a mental health skill, we support their self-expression, critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, resilience, stress reduction, imagination, positive emotions, and adaptability.

Listening with Understanding and Empathy

Teaching empathy in high school  promotes positive mental health and helps foster emotional regulation, social connections, compassion, kindness, reduced bullying, improved self-esteem, stress reduction, and resilience.

Thinking and Communicating with Precision and Clarity

Teaching children this habit supports their mental health by enhancing cognitive skills, promoting effective communication, building self-confidence, encouraging self-reflection, reducing anxiety and stress, and developing critical thinking abilities.

Striving For Accuracy

Teaching children about striving for accuracy supports their mental health by promoting cognitive development, building self-confidence, enhancing problem-solving skills, improving attention to detail, reducing anxiety and stress, and fostering ethical behavior.

Managing Impulsivity

Teaching children about managing impulsivity in high school equips them with essential mental health skills that contribute to their emotional development, social interactions, academic performance, and stress management.  

Thinking Flexibly

Teaching children about thinking flexibly as a mental health skill supports their cognitive adaptability, problem-solving skills, resilience, stress reduction, open-mindedness, acceptance, growth mindset, creativity, and innovation.

Applying Past Knowledge to New Situations

Teaching children about applying past knowledge to new situations as a mental health skill supports their cognitive flexibility, problem-solving skills, confidence, self-efficacy, learning from mistakes, transfer of learning, adaptability, resilience, cognitive growth, and curiosity.

Remaining Open to Continuous Learning

Teaching children this habit supports their mental health by cultivating a growth mindset, fostering curiosity and engagement and boosting self-confidence. These skills contribute to their overall well-being, resilience, and ability to navigate the challenges they encounter throughout their lives.

Finding Humor

Teaching children about finding humor supports their mental health by promoting emotional well-being, stress reduction, resilience, social connections, positive coping strategies, a positive mindset, and self-expression.

Gathering Data Through All Senses

Teaching children about gathering data through all senses are skills that are important for mental health, as they enhance self-awareness, emotional regulation, resilience, and a sense of connection to oneself and the world.

Thinking Interdependently

Teaching children about thinking interdependently as a mental health skill supports their collaboration skills, empathy, social competence, emotional regulation, problem-solving abilities, resilience, adaptability, sense of belonging, and community.

Taking Responsible Risks

Teaching children this habit supports their mental health by promoting self-discovery and developing problem-solving skills. By embracing calculated risks, children learn to face challenges, adapt to new situations, and develop a positive mindset that contributes to their emotional well-being.

Questioning and Problem Posing

Teaching children about questioning and problem posing as mental health skills supports their critical thinking abilities, problem-solving skills, curiosity, love for learning, resilience, growth mindset, self-confidence, autonomy, and self-awareness.