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Finding moments or dedicated time to teach manners in your classroom is actually very easy. Most likely you are using good social skills all day every day in the classroom (virtual or in-person).
Manners and Life Skills such as:
Eye contact: When using eye contact, point out what you are doing. As students use good eye contact, let them know you noticed.
Respect: Point out respectful behaviors as you see certain actions (helping others, expressing gratitude, holding the door, saying “good morning”)
Conversation skills: We have multiple conversations a day. Recognize students when they engage with each other. Conversation skills are becoming a lost art. This skill is the cornerstone of building friendships.
There has been a focus at the school level in many states to focus on the whole child.
How do you teach your students to have a conversation? Isn’t it special to have someone be fully present with you? To have a conversation with anyone, an adult or a child is something to behold these days…a conversation without distraction.
My most popular topic when teaching business etiquette in the workplace is The Art of the Human Connection. The art of having a conversation, is a lost “art”. We are so consumed with social media that often we are so buried in it we miss out on so many opportunities. Often, it is the first request I have from a human resource director to discuss the basic skills of conversation to their team.
Eye contact: This is a social skill that is so very important. By making eye contact, it shows someone that you are interested. It sends a message that you are confident. Point this out to your students. Explain why this is important. Take the opportunity to talk about confidence and how it feels. If your students are six or younger, get on their level. Literally! Get down on your knees if necessary and make eye contact with them.
Teach them to listen to others: Another important social skill is to listen. Tell them it is alright for there to be silence when having a conversation. This is the time to practice sharing-sharing the space to tell ideas and experiences.
Ask questions: By asking questions, you show others that you are interested in their experiences. Ask a student questions. Explain to them that you are having a conversation.
Phone skills: The Wall Street Journal had an article about answering the phone. Remember when we were growing up and we took messages for our parents? With smart phones, this most likely is not happening. This was a great way to teach conversation skills. It is still important for children to know how to answer a phone and converse. Below you will find a link to the article.
Read a story. After reading a story, talk about it with your students. Did they like the story? What was their favorite part?
Pride in showing their parents that they know how to use their good manners
Better manners in everyday life outside the classroom
Happier and healthy
Activities to Teach Manners in Elementary School
Today, I am sharing an activity/lesson plan that you can easily easily teach in your classroom. In fact, if you click on the image below, you can download the specific manners lesson plan.
I believe when we set a goals or intention we need to understand our “why” behind it. This lesson plan will help your students understand the “why” we use our good manners everyday – in public, at at home, with others and especially in your classroom.
This is a fun activity and one that can take only five minutes – or more. You choose.
Your students can engage in a conversation, answer as a group or write down their answers independently.
At Manners To Go, we believe that all children deserve to learn the social skills that will help them grow up to become healthy, happy, successful adults. Here’s your chance to make it happen. We owe it our children to teach them good manners.
It is amazing what happens when you bring this to a child’s attention. Eye contact is the basis for feeling and showing that you are confident.
What a great way to start the day. Greet your students every morning or end the day with “good morning” or a “good bye”. Make eye contact and smile.
The best way to teach introductions is to organize a role-playing activity for your students. They can pretend they have never met each other. Teach them to say “hello, my name is”.
Sit up straight. Stand up straight. Having good posture shows that you are confident and interested.
How to Hold a Fork
Holding a fork correctly is important and shows that we have good table manners.
Napkin in Your Lap
Teach your students to put the napkin in the their lap during recess or lunch.
Do your students know how to start or carry on a conversation with each other or with someone they don’t know?
Be Fully Present | Put Down the Phone or Device
Isn’t it a beautiful gift when someone pays attention to what you are saying and shows they are interested?
Deference | Respect
Allowing someone to go first or opening the door. This is deference. This is respect. Model this in your classroom.
Say good morning or good bye to your students or co-workers
Teach Manners in Your Classroom
Good Manners Set the Stage for Future Success
As an educator, you know how important social skills are for a child’s success. Children who are polite, well spoken, and attentive to others find it easier to get along with their peers and make a positive impression on the adults in their lives. As a result, more opportunities come their way, laying the foundation for future success in life.
Yet too many children are not being taught proper manners or other valuable social skills at home. Which means it’s up to us as educators to equip them with these important life tools – and help them grow up to be responsible, caring, successful global citizens.
Now you can help students improve their behavior in as little as 10 minutes a day… a week… or month.
Most likely we already share something in common. We believe that teaching children manners, character and social emotional skills are very important.
Manners To Go™ is a full-service company for those choosing to teach manners to children. You can make a difference. All children and teenagers deserve to feel what it is like to be confident, and use good manners out in the world.
Manners To Go™ is taught in public, private and charter schools around the world. The New York Times, Parents Magazine and Fox News have all featured Manners To Go and the many benefits of teaching social skills to children.
Whether you are an educator who wants to teach it in the classroom or someone who is looking to become trained and certified, we provide all the solutions.
My name is Lisa Richey, and I am the founder of Manners To Go™ . This brand has given me the honor of teaching manners to thousands of people around the world. The journey has taken me from Portland, Oregon to the Middle East. I believe that manners are not about judgment or rules. Manners are about self-interest. It really is about how using good manners makes you feel on the inside.