Posted in Classroom Guidance Lessons

Self Control – My Mouth Is A Volcano

ASCA Standards:

  • A:A1.5 Identify attitudes and behaviors that lead to successful learning
  • PS:A1.6 Distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate behavior
  • PS:A1.8 Understand the need for self-control and how to practice it

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will understand the importance of self-control
  • Students can show self-control and refrain from blurting



Begin by exploring the definition of self-control and why it is important. Do this by asking students if they know what self-control is. Call on a few students, but when they share their ideas loudly interrupt them. Loudly announce that you are thirsty and need water or that you are tired and need to stretch (again, be loud and obnoxious). Students, I may have just been acting very silly. You may have never seen me act like this, but have you seen anyone act this way before? Maybe in your class? I know I have seen people act this way before! Sometimes self-control is difficult, but it’s so important! Self-control is remaining in control of your body (this includes the sounds you make, words you say, and what your body is doing). Self-control can even mean keeping control of your mind and focusing on the topic at hand. When are some of the times we are expected to use self-control and give me an example?

  • During class time at school (not blurting, raising hand to talk or to ask for help, waiting to use the bathroom or get out of my seat until I have permission)
  • In the car (remaining in my seatbelt)
  • During sports (doing what I am supposed to do without getting distracted)
  • In the hallway (walking straight and quiet with my class)
  • On the playground (playing safely/appropriately, staying in the area I’m supposed to be in, being kind to others)
  • On the bus (remaining seated, following the rules, being kind and respectful no matter what)

Great examples! Why do you think it is important that we use self-control?

  • So it’s not too loud or wild
  • To keep everyone safe
  • So that everyone can learn
  • So everyone gets a turn
  • So that you’re doing the right thing
  • To keep your friends and teacher happy

Thank you for sharing your ideas! Let’s read the book called My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook so that we can see what happens when we don’t use self-control and we will learn some strategies to help us use self-control!

Read the book My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook or use this free read aloud:

Explore strategies to use self-control. One strategy that they used in the book was to bite down hard whenever your words want to come out during a time that it would be blurting/interrupting. Then breath all of your words out and let them just float outside of your body, waiting until it is time for you to talk. Then you can breath them all back in when you are ready to use them! Let’s all practice this…

Great job! Now I want each of you to turn to the person closest to you to be your partner. The partner with the shortest hair goes first. The first partner is going to share a story about their favorite family vacation. The second partner is going to listen to their partner’s story. They will also use self-control by keeping their mouths quiet, body still, keeping eye contact with their partner, facing their partner, and thinking of three questions that they can ask their partner once they are finished with their story. Once you’re finished, you may switch.

Here are several free activities you may utilize from TPT to accompany this lesson. Consider using a different worksheet depending on grade level.


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