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Lesson Plans
School Manners and Student Behavior

In “Good Manners,” a report to parents from the National Association of Elementary School Principals, resources say that lack of manners is a growing problem in classrooms and on playgrounds. Many experts agree that good classroom manners are all about showing respect for others.

Purpose

To help children write rules for good manners to improve social behavior and respect in the classroom, on the playground, and in the cafeteria.

Materials

  • Three sheets of chart paper
  • Markers
  • Posterboard
  • Craft items (glitter, stencils, glue sticks, etc.)

Preparation

Label the three sheets of chart paper: Good Manners in the Classroom; Good Manners on the Playground; Good Manners in the Cafeteria

Procedure

Hang the chart paper on a bulletin board. As a group, talk about the meaning of “good manners.” Have the students give examples of good manners in each of the three areas.

For example:

  • In the Classroom—Raise your hand to ask a question; take turns at the dress-up area; share books and toys.
  • On the Playground—Make sure everyone has a chance to play on the slide; say “excuse me” if you accidentally bump into someone.
  • In the Cafeteria—Swallow your food before you talk; throw away your trash; always wait patiently in line.

Work as a class to choose the two or three most important rules for each area. Then, divide the class into teams and distribute posterboard, markers, and craft materials to each group.”

Assign each team one rule. Have students work together to create an appropriate poster to help others become more aware of proper behavior. Place the posters in the classroom, the cafeteria, and on the playground to remind everyone to watch their manners.

Challenge: Have student teams role play polite behaviors for the class based on their assigned rules.

Post the illustrated lyrics around the room. Over time, have the children select and perform the verses that best describe their moods each day. Continue to add to the lyrics as new emotions are discussed.

Optional Procedure:
Read Manners by Aliki (HarperTrophy, May 23, 1997) to the class.

Manners is a cheerful, colorful, and comical look at how to be a polite child and why you should be a polite child. Aliki addresses many different subjects. Reading the book together will give students great ideas for their “good manners” posters, as well as introduce conversations about manners and rules of politeness and caring in other situations.

Related Family Article: Good Manners

Resources:

  • "Thank Goodness for Manners" from Scholastic Parents provides a quick chart to discover what “good manners” you can expect from toddlers to preschoolers.
  • "Kids and Manners from Family Fun gives an excellent rationale for making politeness an important social skill.
  • "Students Learn Respect—Thanks to Good Manners!" from Education World™ provides information and activities, plus excellent Web resources for teaching respect and good manners.
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Updated on 4/5/2013