Self-Control and Self-Motivation

6, 7, 8

The learners will investigate the importance of  self-control and self-motivation through analyzing examples of self-discipline.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • analyze examples of self-discipline as self-control and/or self-motivation.
  • brainstorm three personal self-discipline goals.

Student copies of Handout One: Self-Control and Self-Discipline


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Remind the students of their assignment to observe and note examples of when they or others (friends, classmates, teachers, family members) used self-discipline. They wrote down at least three examples. Give the students a few minutes to look at those notes and/or add to them or write down examples they can remember if they didn't have any notes.

  2. Distribute Handout One: Self-Control and Self-Motivation and explain that self-discipline can take two forms: using self-control to not do something (as in the chocolate challenge from Lesson One that demonstrated impulse control and delayed gratification, or breaking a bad habit like smoking, losing one's temper easily) or using self-motivation to voluntarily do something that may not be easy or pleasant or convenient to reach a desired goal (like staying on a diet, training for an athletic event, or completing a difficult or long school assignment).

  3. Ask the students to share their examples of self-discipline and then add them to the chart on the handout.  Discuss how each example relates to self-control and self-motivation. Complete the columns on the chart. This may be done as a class, as a small-group assignment, or as individuals.

  4. Ask the students to brainstorm three goals they might like to set using self-control to NOT do something and/or using self-motivation to DO something. Tell them that in the next lesson they will choose one of those goals to reflect on.

Cross Curriculum 

This character education mini-lesson is not intended to be a service learning lesson or to meet the K-12 Service-Learning Standards for Quality Practice. The character education units will be most effective when taught in conjunction with a student-designed service project that provides a real world setting in which students can develop and practice good character and leadership skills. For ideas and suggestions for organizing service events go to