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Manners: Grades 3 and 4

Debbie Trafton O'Neal

A quick primer to develop little Miss and Mr. Manners of your kids.

1. Open Door-When children each arrive, have someone stand at the door, open the door for them, give them a big welcome and pull out a chair for them to sit.

Say: Today we're talking about how we can show God's love to others by using good manners. Our greeter used manners to make you feel welcome and loved. Manners are the way we treat others.

Ask: What are good manners at school? at home? at church? on the playground?

2. Anything Goes?-Form a circle. Place a ball in the center of the circle. Then have the three oldest children stand in the middle.

Say: We're going to play a game, but I'm not going to tell you the rules. You have to figure them out for yourselves. If you do the right thing, you'll win the game.

Give the ball to someone in the outer circle. After several minutes, read aloud Colossians 3:12-15. Say: You could've played Keep Away, Dodgeball, Catch or any other game. Which of the three games I've mentioned would've been the kindest for the three people in the middle? Explain.

2. What's the Manner?-Ask for volunteers to role play situations that require manners. One at a time, have the volunteers role play these situations: someone cuts in line at the drinking fountain in the hall at church; in music class, there aren't enough books for everyone; you break a neighbor's window while playing baseball; and the class bully calls you names on the playground.

Have kids call out possible ways to deal with each situation.

Say: God is happy when we act in kind and loving ways to others; God is happy when we have good manners.

4. Let's Help-Form pairs. Have kids work together to make sandwiches. As children work together, encourage them to practice good manners, such as saying "please" and "thank you." After the sandwiches are made, have children enjoy their cooperative efforts by eating the sandwiches. Encourage them to use good table manners.

5. Pass It On-Form pairs. Give each pair a sheet of newsprint and markers. Tell pairs to draw pictures for younger children about using good manners, such as a picture of two children sharing toys. When kids are finished drawing, stack the newsprint pictures and place two sheets of posterboard on either side of them. Staple the "Big Book of Manners" together.

Have your class deliver its big book to a class of younger children. Then return to the room and have kids help clean up. Afterward, close in prayer.

Debbie Trafton O'Neal is a teacher in Washington. She has worked with children for 15 years.


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