The word ‘fail’ has negative connotations for most people. Students will ‘rebrand’ the term by creating an acronym in order to create a more positive connection with the notion of ‘failing’.

Year level



5 minutes


In class activity

SEL Competencies



Social awareness

Learning intention

Students learn to reclaim the word ‘fail’ and associate it with a more positive meaning.

Key outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • work collaboratively to create a more positive association with the word ‘fail’.

Materials needed

  • Whiteboard

  • Whiteboard marker

  • Paper

Mapped to

Australian Curriculum: General Capabilities

  • Critical and Creative Thinking:

    • Generating

Show details

Activity 1


5 minutes

  1. Write the word ‘FAIL’ on the board in capital letters.

  2. Explain to students that it is often seen as a negative term, but that, in fact, failure helps us to grow and learn from our mistakes.

  3. Now, write the word in capital letters vertically down the board: FAIL.

  4. Ask students to work in pairs to reclaim the word ‘fail’ by creating an acronym with the letters.

  5. Students are to make the acronym positive, motivating and, if possible, funny, to encourage a growth mindset.

  6. Ask students to feed back suggestions to the class in order to share ideas. Some suggestions include:

    • Falling Also Includes Laughter

    • Forever Acquiring Important Lessons

    • First Action In Learning

    • First Attempt Isn’t (the) Last

    • Focus Attention Into Learning

    • Free All Inhibitions (in) Learning.


Ask students these follow-up questions:

  • Which acronym did you find the most motivating/ inspirational/positive/funny?

  • Why is reclaiming the word ‘fail’ so important when encouraging a growth mindset?


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