Instills Confidence: MostChildren are social beings and enjoy eating together.When they know the basics…napkin in lap and using it, chew with their mouth closed, etc. they feel good about themselves.They are confident.They know what to do when eating with others.
Joy in Helping: Setting the table starts the ritual of eating together.When you allow children to take an active role, they feel useful. Taking out the plates, forks and napkins sets the tone for togetherness.This can be in the cafeteria at school, in the classroom or at home.
There is so much joy in helping out a parent or teacher. They can also take on a role at the end of the meal by clearing the table (how fun is that chore!).
Conversation Skills: I always tell teachers and parents, if you want your children to have good conversation skills, sit down together at meal time.Not only does sitting down together to eat teach table manners, this act also teaches everyone about talking to each other.
Ask questions.Learn what happened during the day.This is a simple step to take and adds so much value for life.
Elizabeth and I connected by phone one evening as she had questions about our curriculum.The school purchased the Manners To Go lesson plans to teach first impressions, communications skills and table manners to her students.
The Hawbridge School in North Carolina where she has taught for many years has a dedicated life skills program.
Listen in, as we have an informative discussion about the benefits and the reasons why life skills are important.
Oh!And listen for her discussion about a “slow lunch” and why this is so meaningful for her students.In fact, they love it so much they ask for it frequently.
Recently, I had the opportunity to teach a manners program for her students. Leah is a special education teacher and her focus is on children with autism. She also has a blog, Teacher Talk, where she writes about her experiences.
When I was visiting your classroom preparing for the manners program, I noticed several boxes containing materials. My eyes immediately went to the box on life skills. Tell us about that box!
In our life skill box, I have a lot of resources that help teach students skills they need for life such as direction following, manners, greetings, and how to hold a conversation. The box contains activities and worksheets that help students learn and practice these skills.
My favorite life skills/manners activity to teach is how to greet a person properly. Proper greetings change depending on age, location, and familiarity of the person. I love teaching different greetings during morning meeting since first impressions matter. We also practice saying hello and goodbye when entering and exiting the classroom. In addition, we always reinforce and expect our students to say please and thank you.
My students love to participate in group projects where collaboration is needed to complete an end product. My students wrote and produced a video about Mozambique that shared how some students could not go to school since they could not afford a $10 uniform. My students loved practicing their lines and recording the video. In addition, my students have enjoyed morning meeting where they greet their classmates and their teachers, participate in a group activity, and then ask their classmates questions about their weekend or how to solve a math problem.
4. Of these activities, which ones do you believe have the most impact?
I think each social skills activity has had a beneficial effect on my students. Morning meeting has been a great social activity that has helped produce a “family” feel in the classroom among peers and teachers. Producing the video helped my students think outside the classroom and use their social skills to focus on helping other people. Focusing on saying please and thank you has helped my students be a role model to other students in the lunch room and to special teachers.
Would You Like Lesson Plans to 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.
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.
Lisa Richey provides etiquette programs to businesses, schools, and individuals.