Lesson Plan on Procrastination
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.
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.”
“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.”
“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.”