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Lesson Plan on Procrastination

Updated on September 20, 2012

Procrastination - one of the banes of a student's existence. It's a plague that can lead to lower scores, confusion, and discouragement... and unfortunately, many students fall to this and practice it frequently. Therefore, a lesson plan on the topic can be beneficial to middle and high school students.

Circle Up

Avoid the Obvious
Bring out the board game Stare (which I own). Explain the concept of the game: players pair up, and Player 1 gets a card with a picture on it. That player has 30 seconds to stare at the picture and try to remember as many details about it as possible in that amount of time. After the time it over, the player’s partner takes the card and looks at the back, where there are six pre-determined questions about the picture. Player 1 has to answer the question based on what they remember from the 30 seconds. Player 2 has to see how many questions Player 1 can answer. After they go through the six questions, have Player 2 take a card and follow the same procedure. Ask each team how many questions they answered correctly and record the scores on the board.
For the second round, tell each team that they have 2 minutes to stare at a new picture; they can use the whole time or not. Afterwards, record the new scores.
“You can see that when you had more time, you scored better. This is the same idea behind procrastination; when you leave things to the last minute, you often don’t do as good of a job as you could have if you did the task earlier.”

Define Terms
“Does anyone know what procrastination is? Procrastination is when you put off or delay an action to a later time. Who can give me an example of a time when they procrastinated?”

Make it Relevant
“What are some reasons that you have procrastinated in the past?” Write their answers on the board, then write: “Do you find yourself saying…

· I do my best work under pressure.

· I don’t do my work because I just don’t want to do it.

· I always pull it off at the last minute so why change now?

· I don’t do my work because I don’t know how to do it.

· I didn’t start my work because I didn’t feel like it right then.

Raise the Emotion

For this assignment the class will need writing materials and a previously graded project or assignment. “This assignment will help you understand how some of the excuses we described before affected the quality of work on the graded assignment.”

Have the students think back onto how they went about completing the assignment from the time it was assigned to the moment they turned it in.

In short-essay format, have the students describe how each of the rationalizations/excuses affected or did not affect how they completed the assignment.

Ask for students to volunteer to read a few examples out loud.

“The Strategies for College Success course teaches four strategies that can help you to overcome these problems.

· Create a To-Do checklist – To help you keep track of your assignment.

· Ask Others – See how others used their time to do similar activities.

· Set Goals – Break down the assignment into little assignments to help you get started and stay motivated.

· Think Positive – Tell yourself that no matter what you can do it, over and over again until it is done.”

Main Point
“This lesson is meant for you to understand how much of an impact procrastination can have on the quality of your schoolwork and other areas of your life. It’s always better to do things on time because you never know when something could happen and you may all of a sudden have less time or resources than you thought you would.”

“To debrief, consider your graded assignment, or think about an upcoming task or assignment that you have coming up, and think about the ways that you can get it done the most efficiently. What do you need in order to complete it as best you can? Make a list or outline the steps necessary to get it done.”



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    • Talisker profile image

      Honor Meci 5 years ago from UK

      Yes, I should be studying for my music theory now.... but I'm on the computer...doing this!

    • esolefl profile image

      esolefl 7 years ago

      Great hub! very informative indeed! Keep on writing. May the Lord give you the strength.



    • stars439 profile image

      stars439 7 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      Good advice. God Bless You

    • vannarith profile image

      vannarith 8 years ago

      haha just one to post one link. Don't tell other ,k?

    • prasadjain profile image

      Dr.S.P.PADMA PRASAD 8 years ago from Tumkur

      This is a very good educational activity. AS a teacher -educater, i Make use of this article to suggest my students. Thanks

    • Beth100 profile image

      Beth100 8 years ago from Canada

      Better late than they say but I believe... better now than later as it gives more time to play! :)

    • Angel Of Love profile image

      Angel Of Love 8 years ago

      nice hub

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California

      Putting off a thesis?! You'd think master's students would know better than that!

    • fishskinfreak2008 profile image

      fishskinfreak2008 8 years ago from Fremont CA

      Excellent ideas, Sara. Yep, procrastination is a HUGE problem for students. You should see MPhil (Master of Philosophy) students here in Hong Kong. These people will not start writing their thesis or proposal until two weeks before it's due and then stay up all night for three straight weeks. Thumbs up

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California

      Haha, very true! I love it.

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 8 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      The trouble is that I know all of the above. I have known it for years. What I need to know is how to apply it. (LOL)