Motivation Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan is a tool for helping teachers instruct students about the motivation cycle. Students will explain and provide examples of each of the stages of motivation.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson on motivation, students will be able to:

  • Ask and answer questions about motivation.
  • Summarize the stages of the motivation cycles.
  • Define content-related vocabulary.


90 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).


  • balance
  • cycle of motivation
  • desire
  • drive
  • goal
  • incentive
  • Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
  • motivation
  • need
  • punishment
  • reward
  • tension


  • Copies of quiz
  • Copies of the lesson
  • Chart Paper
  • Markers
  • Internet access
  • Paper
  • Pencils

Reading & Discussion Questions

  • Preview vocabulary with students prior to reading the lesson.
  • Read The Motivational Cycle: Definition, Stages & Examples as a class, and discuss the following questions:
    • What determines a person's progress towards their goal?
    • What are the stages of the motivational cycle?
    • What determines the motivating need in a person?
    • Explain Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
    • Turn and talk: Describe an example of the motivational cycle in your life.
    • How would the motivational cycle of a typical American be different from the motivational cycle of a person living in a third world country?
  • Ask if there are any questions, then give the students the lesson's printable worksheet to check for understanding.
  • Check the answers as a class.


Motivational Cycle Based on Needs

Materials needed: copies of lesson, chart paper, markers, internet access, paper, pencils

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