Friday, February 1, 2013

Teaching Manners and Etiquette

 New to our school this year is an after-school program that is filled with all kinds of enriched learning experiences for students.  Recently I was asked to teach a few classes on manners and etiquette.  I had done a lesson like this for the 4-H club a few years ago and looked forward to sharing it with a different group of kids.  However, I wasn't sure how excited they would be about learning these topics!
As I talked to my own children about what I would be teaching, they quickly said there was no way anyone would listen to me if I didn't make it fun.  I knew that, of course!  Manners?  Etiquette?  No way!
As the students came into the room, they sat down at a table.  They had to set their place setting properly by just using disposable tableware.  There were probably 40 students that came through that afternoon.  One got the table setting almost right.  Of course, many got it "close" to right :).  I gave them a placemat (from of a proper, but simple place setting, so that they could "fix" their mistakes.
After setting the table, the students passed snack foods around.  As they passed them and served themselves, we talked about table manners.  They were already okay with learning manners and etiquette once they saw that they were going to eat snacks, but we played a game as they ate that became even more fun!
I divided each table up into teams and gave them multiple choice questions.  The team would choose A, B, C, or D and hold up the corresponding card for their answer.  They had fun, learned, and filled their tummies with goodies.  It was kind of fun hearing them say that they "loved" that class as they left!  

Hopefully the manners and etiquette didn't stop at the door as they left the class that day.  Hopefully there are table settings being set properly from time to time.....that there are less electronic gadgets at the table and more family time talking.  Hopefully there are more "thank you" and "please" responses coming from their mouths.  Hopefully what they learned that day was something that will stick with them for a long time.
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1 comment:

Wa Wa Waughs said...

Way to go! Unfortunately so many families do not sit down and eat together and these skills have been forgotten!

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