Introducing Self-Control to Your Students

At the beginning of the year, I always feel that self-control is a HUGE character trait to begin instilling in my first graders. Many students enter my first grade classroom without a clear understanding of how to manage themselves in an appropriate way. I love to first introduce self-control with this Self-Control Character Education Lapbook. It is a great hands-on activity that my students always love!

Inside Flip Book

After coloring the cover, we first start out with a Ways to Show Self-Control flip book. We discuss in detail the ways we can show self-control using our hands, feet, and mouth. I like to extend their learning by creating an anchor chart for our character wall that students can refer to all year long. We go over examples of what this character trait looks like, sounds like, and feels like when we use each of these body parts to show self-control. Once my students understand the ways to show self-control, then we discuss why it is important to show self-control. Students cut out the Self-Control is Important flap book on the dotted lines and then write a sentence answer to each question.


This puzzle mini-book is a great reflective activity to show understanding of how self-control affects my students in their own lives. On each of the five book pages, students write about how they can make changes in their own lives to show self-control. I always love to read how they will make changes in the classroom to show self-control.


Dealing with emotions and having self-control go hand-in-hand. So many of our emotions require us to show a great deal of self-control in order to handle them effectively and with kindness. Before adding this pocket to the lapbook, I like to create a circle map with my students where we discuss different emotions that we have. Then, we discuss how these emotions require us to have self-control and why we need self-control to deal with each emotion.

Back of Lapbook

The final piece of the lapbook is to share a story about a time when each student needed to show self-control. This is a very personal narrative story that encourages my students to think about how they could have handled a situation where self-control was needed differently. I love to have students read their stories aloud to the class so we can all learn about additional ways we can show self-control.

I hope you are feeling motivated to teach self-control to your students. You can grab my Self-Control Character Education Lapbook in my TpT store!


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