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
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
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
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
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.