Discipline vs. Self-Discipline

6, 7, 8

The students will define self-discipline and compare and contrast discipline and self-discipline.

PrintOne 20-minute lesson

The learner will:

  • work in a group to develop a definition of self-discipline.
  • compare and contrast discipline and self-discipline.
  • Two mind-maps created in Lesson One.
  • List of positive and negative aspects of discipline created in Lesson One


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Refer to the concept map and T-Chart from the previous lesson to remind the learners of their discussion about discipline. Ask whether based on conversations with parents/guardians, they would like to add any examples of discipline to the graphic or positive/negative aspects of discipline to the list.

  2. Display the second concept map from the previous lesson that has "What is self-discipline?" in the center circle. Ask learners to think about how adding the prefix self before discipline changes the meaning. Suggest some of the following examples of self-discipline (count to 10 before responding when angry, training for an athletic event, going on a diet, completing assignments on time, keeping room neat, etc.) and write them on the rays of the concept map. Prompt the students to think of examples of self-discipline related to self-control (restraint of oneself or one's actions, i.e., anger) as well as self-motivation (will power or initiative to begin or continue a task or activity without prodding or supervision, i.e., physical training). Write their examples on the rays of the concept map.

  3. Arrange the learners in groups of 4-5 students. Ask each group to discuss and develop a definition of self-discipline. Encourage them to refer to the examples on the concept map and the T-Chart of positive and negative aspects. Allow about 5 minutes.

  4. Ask a reporter from each group to read their definition to the whole class, as you note words and phrases from each definition on the rays of the concept map. Share the following definition with the students and compare it to the ones that they developed: "training that one gives oneself to accomplish a certain task or to adopt a specific behavior." Related words that might be added to the concept map: perseverance, self-control, motivation, patience,will power, integrity, persistence.

  5. Revisit the T-Chart of positive and negative spects of discipline. Discuss which, if any, of those positive or negative attributes of discipline also apply to self-discipline, and why. Highlight those aspects that apply to both discipline and self-dsicipline.

  6. Save and display all charts for use in subsequent lessons.