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How to Teach Your Students to Have a Conversation

How to Teach Your Students to Have a Conversation

Mar 22, 2022 | Etiquette Expert

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.

Take the time to teach your students how to converse!  Life is fuller when you have this life skill.  You actually become interesting.  A children and teens learn so much about life when they hear others conversing.

5 Tips to Teach Students to Have a Conversation

  1. 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.  
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Read a story.  After reading a story, talk about it with your students.  Did they like the story?  What was their favorite part?
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Elementary School Manners

Elementary School Manners

What Are Good Manners in the Elementary School Classroom and Why They Are Needed

Do elementary school students need to learn good manners?  Is it still useful for students to learn good social skills?  Are you the one that needs to teach this?  Do you even have the time?

These might be the questions you are asking yourself about now.

Trust me, your students need you to show them how to not be socially awkward or uncomfortable.

When you teach manners and life skills in your classroom, you add a great deal of value to the lives of your students.

Here is how they feel when using good manners:

  • More confident
  • Self-assured
  • Empathy for others
  • 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
  • Friendlier

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.

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We offer done-for-you lesson plans on manners and life skills.

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10 Tips to Teach Manners in Your Classroom

10 Tips to Teach Manners in Your Classroom

Life Skills | Manners | Character Education | Social Emotional Learning      

10 Tips to Teach Manners in Your Classroom

Now more than ever, teaching manners in your classroom is critical. Children today are looking to learn more about building relationships and creating community.

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.

Eye Contact

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.

Greetings

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.

Lesson plan introductions

Introductions

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”.

Posture

Sit up straight.  Stand up straight.  Having good posture shows that you are confident and interested.

Manners Classes in Caribbean

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.

Conversation Skills

Do your students know how to start or carry on a conversation with each other or with someone they don’t know?

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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?

What does respect look like?

Deference | Respect

Allowing someone to go first or opening the door.  This is deference.  This is respect. Model this in your classroom.

Greetings

Say good morning or good bye to your students or co-workers

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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.

Preschool | Elementary | Middle School | High School

Manners To Go Accepts PO's

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR CURRICULUM

MTG Manners curriculum English

Now Available in Spanish

About Manners To Go

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.

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Teaching Manners: Lesson Plans to Use in the Classroom

Teaching Manners: Lesson Plans to Use in the Classroom

Teaching Manners in Your Classroom Lesson Plans Handouts

How to Teach Manners in Your Classroom Using Lesson Plans and Ideas from a Special Education Teacher

If you are an educator, you may have questions about how to teach manners in your classroom using lesson plans and handouts.  Leah Serao has many ideas and her classroom is surrounded by fun charts and activities for the students to stay inspired.

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.

I interviewed Leah about her ideas on teaching manners, life skills and character education.

Resources Teach Manners in Classroom

Teaching Manners, Life Skills and Character Education

  1. 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.

Grammar, Reading and Life skills Lesson Plans and Manners in Classroom

     2.  What are your favorite life skills/manners activities to teach in your classroom?

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.

      3. What are your students favorite social skills activities?

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 meetings 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.

Resources to teach manners in classroom

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.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

MTG Manners curriculum English
About Manners To Go Lisa Richey, Manners to Go Instructor

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.

This post was updated on August 2, 2021

Why Etiquette for Kids Is So Important to Teach In Elementary School

Why Etiquette for Kids Is So Important to Teach In Elementary School

It’s never too early to teach children good manners. Elementary school is actually the perfect time to start teaching social skills. Adding etiquette for kids to your curriculum will help your students develop into mature and respectful adults.

Social skills impact us for our entire lives. That’s why starting off with strong etiquette for kids is important. But why does it matter? 

Why Is Etiquette for Kids Important? 

Children are constantly learning and making connections. Childhood is a critical time to teach kids the skills they will need for the rest of their lives. 

That doesn’t just mean reading, writing, and arithmetic!

Adding etiquette for kids into your classroom teaches your students skills that will help them on every step of their journey. 

Those benefits will show up in your classroom, too! Well-mannered children are easier to teach and will have an easier time navigating social situations in the future.

We need social skills, like etiquette, to effectively navigate life. 

Those skills let us form genuine human connections. Children, like adults, want to connect. They want to make friends and bring joy to the people around them. Learning manners gives them the skills to do that.

Good manners are all about self-respect. Teaching etiquette for kids is about teaching children to value themselves and recognize their effect on the people around them.

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Areas of Etiquette For Kids to Teach to Elementary Students

Teaching etiquette for kids is easier than you think. Manners can be fun! In fact, you’re probably already encouraging children to use etiquette in your elementary school classroom.

I’m going to go over four specific areas you can focus on when teaching your elementary-aged kids. By starting with these easy areas (that you probably already cover!), you can shape the next generation. 

These 4 areas are:

  • Empathy
  • Kindness
  • Self-respect
  • Respecting others

Empathy

Learning how to be empathetic to others is essential for people of all ages. Teach your students how to think about the world outside of themselves. Children should learn that every individual lives a life as rich and emotional as their own.

This can be as easy as asking them to notice when another student is not smiling or is feeling unwell. Your students will begin to naturally attune themselves to the people around them. It’s a skill that will help them build stronger connections with others for the rest of their life.

Ask your students to tell you how they help other people in the classroom. What examples can they give of times they practiced empathy? 

Kindness

Everybody can use a little more kindness in their life. Kindness to others is a form of kindness to ourselves. 

It’s also something that can be taught when demonstrating etiquette for kids.

You can encourage kindness in your students using these methods:

  • Have your students practice giving one another complements. They can be about anything! Maybe someone has a really cool lunchbox or a beautiful smile.
  • Actively include everyone in activities. Encourage your students to encourage their classmates.
  • Incorporate gratitude in the classroom. Give your students an opportunity to share something they are grateful for every day.

Self-Respect

Self-respect is at the heart of etiquette for kids. Even as adults, we use good manners because of how it makes us feel inside. 

Well-mannered people feel confident and respected. That sense of confidence and respect from others helps us to develop our sense of self-respect. Using good manners actually makes us feel good about ourselves. 

Encouraging your students to use good manners will build their confidence. Having self-respect will improve children’s lives as they grow into mature, confident adults.

Respecting Others

When we respect others, we reap the benefits just as much as the people around us! 

A child who is respectful of others is more likely to have a wider social circle. Other students will treat them better because they are being treated better. It’s reciprocal. 

A child who respects others and respects themselves is easy to be around. This helps children create and maintain healthy relationships for the rest of their lives.

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Where to Focus on Etiquette for Kids In An Elementary School Setting

I told you teaching etiquette for kids is easy, and it is! Here are some actionable ways you can utilize a manners curriculum. 

In The Classroom

The classroom environment is a great place to teach children some basic etiquette skills. They have the opportunity to practice engaging in conversation with both their peers and your staff. 

You can also encourage them to show gratitude. Whether it’s to other students, teachers, or the principal, there are many opportunities to practice giving thanks. Learning to write a proper thank you note will go a long way as they grow up!

You can also teach your students to give proper greetings and farewells. Say good morning when the day starts and goodbye in the afternoon. Practice good manners by making eye contact and smiling, rather than calling out as they run through the door. 

In the Cafeteria 

The cafeteria is another great place to implement etiquette activities. There are so many teachable moments around the table! 

You can go way beyond the basics, but don’t forget to work on those, too! Students should start by learning to place napkins in their laps and chew with their mouths closed. From there, you can level up slowly!

Some easy ways to model etiquette for kids in the cafeteria include:

  • Model good conversations with your students by asking them lots of questions about themselves. 
  • Encourage students to say please and thank you. 
  • Teach your students to make eye contact when apologizing. They’ll pick up on it if you model it for them. 
  • Encourage students to listen when others are talking and avoid interrupting. 
  • Plan lunchtime activities that don’t include devices so that students have an opportunity to focus on one another and talk. 

Elementary school is the perfect time to start teaching etiquette for kids. You have so many opportunities to encourage your students to be respectful of one another and themselves. 

If you’re not sure where to start, give my manners curriculum a try! You’ll be able to share the joy of manners in a way that the children really respond to.

Here is a FREE Guide to Help YOU Start a Business Teaching Manners to Children

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6 Things Needed to start an etiquette business
   

Here Are Your Next Steps

Step 1

Get to Know Manners To Go™

Most likely, you will want to get to know us. Feel free to call or email us. Click on the links below. We are happy to discuss the details with you.

Step 2

Decide on the best training option for you

We offer two trainings to become certified to teach manners to children:

Professional Consultant Certification - Live video training

Option #1:

“Live” Video Training

If you are looking to start immediately and save money on travel and time, then this is your best option.You choose the dates of our trainings. Most choose to have their sessions once a week, others twice. This is a “live” and private training. It is NOT self-guided.

2 Day Etiquette Certificate Training

Option #2:

Two-Day In-Person

PRIVATE Training.  That’s right, we meet in person, the two of us and our focus is completely on your business.  Click the image above or follow the button below to learn more and to see a list of cities available for your training.

Step 3

Receive the curriculum and book your training dates

Upon payment, you receive the curriculum. Next, we will send an email asking you to schedule your first training date.

Manners To Go Lesson Plans for Teachers

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Manners To Go™ movement with Lisa Richey.

Why Etiquette for Kids Is So Important to Teach In Elementary School | Manners to Go
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Free Virtual Afternoon Tea Instruction

Free Virtual Afternoon Tea Instruction

As an educator, you may use this information in your classroom or enjoy this event with your own family.

During this afternoon tea instruction you will learn:

The history of tea

How to hold a teacup (you might be surprised)

How to eat a scone (hint, not as if you were eating a sandwich)

Milk in first or last

How to stir (this might surprise you too)

How to set a “tea” table

Napkin etiquette

And so much more

DATES: Thursday, May 6 | 4:00 pm EDT

Saturday, May 8 | 4:00 pm EDT

This event is complimentary. We so appreciate your support over the years.

HERE ARE YOUR NEXT STEPS TO ATTEND THIS VIRTUAL EVENT

  1. Mark the dates on your calendar (choose either date)
  2. Look for our next email with a registration link
  3. Invite family and friends
  4. Once we receive your name and email, a follow-up Zoom link will be sent
Virtual Afternoon Tea Instruction
Manners To Go Lesson Plans for Teachers

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