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Self-Control Lessons for SEL, Self-Regulation, and Executive Functioning Skills

Rated 4.85 out of 5, based on 561 reviews
561 Ratings
Pathway 2 Success
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Zip
  • Google Apps™
70+ pages + digital version
Pathway 2 Success
Includes Google Apps™
The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).


Use these lessons to get kids' self-control skills in shape! Activities focus on understanding self-control, impulse control, stopping and thinking to make a decision, waiting our turn, following rules and directions, staying motivated, doing our best work, managing emotions, using coping strategies, and practicing self-control to strengthen skills over time. Other skills that impact self-control are also addressed, including planning, time management, and perseverance.

Digital Version

Updated to include completely digital version using Google Drive. Use the entire unit all at once or separated into lessons. Text boxes have been added so students can work right away! Perfect for a 1:1 school or virtual learning.

How to Use

These lessons and activities can be used in large or small groups by the regular education teacher, special education teacher, or other support professional. These materials can also be used during advisory for older students. Detailed educator guides are included with step-by-step instructions for each activity with student objectives and discussion questions. While all students can most assuredly benefit from strategies to strengthen executive functioning and self-control skills, some examples of students most in need include those with ADD/ADHD, autism, oppositional defiant disorder, and other needs.

Why Teach Self-Control Skills?

Self-control is a critical executive functioning skill that helps students manage their thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. Kids who struggle with self-control might have difficulty following directions, rush through assignments, interrupt others, have trouble staying seated, become easily frustrated, have difficulty regulating their emotions, and more. Simply put, executive functioning skills are necessary life skills.

Table of Contents

Lesson 1: Introduction to Self-Control

• Activity 1: Self-Control Boot Camp

• Activity 2: Assess Your Self-Control

• Activity 3: What Self-Control Really Means

• Activity 4: How Self-Control Helps Me

Lesson 2: You Are in Control

• Activity 1: The Choices We Make

• Activity 2: How Actions Impact Us

• Activity 3: Using Self-Talk

Lesson 3: Impulse Control

• Activity 1: Stop and Think

• Activity 2: Considering Consequences

• Activity 3: Making Positive Choices

• Activity 4: Using Willpower

• Activity 5: What Would You Do?

Lesson 4: Controlling Our Words and Actions

• Activity 1: Thinking About What We Say

• Activity 2: Respecting Personal Space

• Activity 3: Waiting Our Turn

• Activity 4: Following Rules and Directions

Lesson 5: Using Self-Control to Accomplish Tasks

• Activity 1: Staying Motivated & Avoiding Procrastination

• Activity 2: How Would You Stay Motivated?

• Activity 3: Avoiding Distractions

• Activity 4: Doing Your Best Work

• Activity 5: Not Giving Up

Lesson 6: Managing Emotions

• Activity 1: Understanding Emotions

• Activity 2: Hit the Pause Button

• Activity 3: Coping Strategies

• Activity 4: Managing Frustration

• Activity 5: Managing Worry

• Activity 6: Managing Anger

Lesson 7: Skills that Helps with Self-Control

• Activity 1: Planning

• Activity 2: Time Management

• Activity 3: Perseverance

Lesson 8: Self-Control Practice

• Activity 1: Don’t Hit the Bubbles

• Activity 2: Dance It Out

• Activity 3: Try Not to Laugh

• Activity 4: One Now or Two Later

• Activity 5: Red Light – Green Light

• Activity 6: Simon Says

• Activity 7: Don’t Blurt It Out

Note that both color and black/white options are included.

MORE Executive Functioning Skills

{ Executive Functioning MEGA BUNDLE }

Target executive functioning and study skills necessary for academic success at the middle and high school level. The bundle includes over 300 pages full of lessons, templates, and workbook pages to teach study strategies and ways to improve executive functioning skills. It includes a HUGE selection of my executive functioning and study skills materials in one place.

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Terms of Use:

© Pathway 2 Success. One license is for the classroom/personal use for one educator and their students. Materials may not be shared with other educators without the purchase of extra licenses. Materials may not be posted on the Internet where they can be publicly accessed. Personal and classroom use only. Please see full terms of use for more information.

Disclaimer: These resources are for supplementary support/education purposes and are not a replacement for education or other necessary supports. Educators, parents, and others who utilize these materials are encouraged to seek out additional support, as needed.

Total Pages
70+ pages + digital version
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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