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Exercising Self-Control

Developing self-control is an essential skill that empowers young learners to make thoughtful decisions, manage their emotions, and handle challenging situations effectively. In this engaging lesson designed for Grade 2 students (7-8 years old), we explore the concept of self-control, its significance, and practical ways to apply it in our daily lives. Through interactive activities and discussions, educators can equip students with valuable strategies to help them make the right choices in every situation.


  • Students will understand the concept of self-control and its importance.

  • Students will explore strategies for practicing self-control.

  • Students will commit to applying self-control in their daily lives.


Starter/Warm-up (10 minutes)

Conduct a 5-minute freeze dance (included in slide 1) for the students to practice controlling their bodies. Encourage students to not only freeze when the music stops but also think about why they are freezing. Ask them questions like, "What are you feeling when you freeze?" or "What's happening in your body when you stop moving?".

After the dance, have a brief discussion about their actions during the dance by asking the following questions:

"Who decided when to stop dancing when the music paused?"

"Who decided when to continue dancing when the music started again?"

Highlight that during the freeze dance, the students were using self-control. Ask them if they heard this word before.

Main activities

- What is self-control? (10 minutes): Define self-control as the ability to control our actions, words, and emotions, even when we might want to do something impulsive. Connect this to the warm-up activity by discussing how they controlled their bodies during the freeze dance.

Ask open-ended questions like, "Why is it important to show self-control?" Encourage brainstorming and write students' responses on the whiteboard.

- Ways to show self-control (5 minutes): Present various strategies for practicing self-control (e.g., taking a deep breath, taking a break, thinking about the consequences of actions). Focus on the strategy "STOP-Think-Act" (see poster) and practice with some examples. Encourage students to share their own ideas on how to practice self-control.

- Self-Control Board Game (15 minutes): Before playing the game, organize 3 or 4 teams. Students must answer self-control-related questions. Each correct answer or display of self-control allows the student to advance on the game board. There are different types of questions:

- STOP, Think, Act: Students explain how they can use this strategy in different scenarios.

- Tell us a time... - Students to share personal experiences or stories about self-control.

- Test your self-control - Challenges to provide practical opportunities for students to practice self-control in a playful and interactive manner.

- Emojis: Ask students how they would react or what they would do to manage certain emotions.

(You can find the cards for the game and a downloadable PDF version in my store at TPT.)

Closure (5 minutes)

- Recap the main ideas of the lesson: What is self-control, why it's important, and strategies to practice it.

- Ask students to reflect on how they will show self-control during the week. Have them write one self-control goal on a sticky note and place it on a "Self-Control Commitment" poster in the classroom.

- Encourage students to share their goals with the class if they feel comfortable doing so.

- Conclude emphasizing the importance of making good choices and practicing self-control in various situations.

Follow-up activities

- Instruct the students to keep a "Self-Control Journal" for a week or longer. Each day, students can write about a situation where they had to use self-control. They should describe the situation, how they felt, what they did to exercise self-control, and what they learned from the experience.

- Create role-playing scenarios related to self-control, such as dealing with peer pressure, managing anger, or making healthy choices. Have students take turns acting out these scenarios in pairs or small groups, demonstrating how they would use self-control in each situation.

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