Hold up a picture of a stoplight and ask students, “Have you ever seen a stoplight?” After they respond, ask, “What happens when the stoplight is red?” Once they answer, ask, “What happens if you are really late and you want to go through a red stoplight?” (Go over examples of what can happen if someone goes through a red light.)
On the board, draw a red circle and write “STOP and calm down” in the red circle. Tell students, “When using self-control, we stop and calm down.”
What is the yellow light for? (Explain that a yellow light provides time for a driver to think, “Should I stop quickly, or am I already almost through the light?” A driver would not want to stop in the middle of an intersection and therefore has to think about what he/she is doing.) Draw a yellow circle on the board and write “THINK of solutions and consequences” in the yellow circle.
What is the green light for? (Discuss how and why it is safe to go on the green light.) Draw a green circle on the board and write “GO ahead and try the best action” on the green circle.
Next, introduce students to self-control strategies (model each strategy as you explain them to the students):
- First, take a deep breath.
- Next, count backward from 10.
- Last, think about what will happen if you do the behavior.
Use the stoplight in the classroom for a visual reminder.