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Teaching Elementary Etiquette with this Lesson Plan on Using Polite Words

written by: CrunchingLeaves • edited by: Donna Cosmato • updated: 1/17/2012

Students need to know when to use polite words, such as please, thank you, excuse me, and I'm sorry. These words show respect and consideration for the people around us. This lesson plan will help students understand this important social skill.

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    Preparation for the Lesson

    To begin this lesson, copy each one of the scenarios for the role play activity onto a separate sheet of paper or card stock to give to each group.

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    Discussion

    Explain to students that polite words like please, thank you, and excuse me make other people feel appreciated and respected. You can show kindness and respect for other people’s feelings by speaking politely to them. Ask the students to tell what they already know about using polite words. Be sure the following points are discussed:

    • Always say “thank you” when someone gives you a gift or a compliment.

    • Say “thank you” when someone does something for you.

    • Say “please” when you are asking someone to give you something or to do something for you.

    • Do not say “please” over and over again as a way to beg for something you want- that is not a polite thing to do at all.

    • Say “excuse me” when your body makes an embarrassing noise such as a burp, hiccup, sneeze, or you pass gas.

    • When you must interrupt someone or ask them to move, say “Excuse me, please”.

    • When starting a conversation, it is polite to first ask, “How are you?”

    • If you see that someone fell or may have hurt himself, you should ask if he is okay.

    • Never be afraid to say “I’m sorry”, when you make a mistake or hurt someone.

    Point out that having good manners requires thinking about other people, instead of just thinking about yourself. Other people will feel comfortable and happy to be around you when you are polite and treat them with respect.

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    Activity

    Have student's role play the following scenarios, showing the appropriate polite words to use in each situation. Give them time to prepare and practice, then present their skits for the class.

    1. Your Grandmother gives you a puppy for your birthday.

    2. Your best friend tells you your new shoes look really cool.

    3. You want someone to pass you the salt, which is at the far end of the table.

    4. You burp or sneeze in the middle of a conversation with your teacher.

    5. You see your classmate trip and fall.

    6. You accidentally spill someone’s carton of milk.

    7. You have to squeeze between two people having a conversation, in order to get to your cubby or locker.

    8. Your mom helps you with your homework.

    9. You have to yawn when you are listening to your friend tell you about a movie he watched the night before.

    10. You accidentally step on someone’s toe.

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    Suggested Books

    • What Do You Say, Dear? by Sesyle Joslin, illustrated by Maurice Sendak
    • Oops! Excuse Me! Please!: And Other Mannerly Tales by Bob McGrath
    • Manners by Aliki

References

  • Article is written from teaching experience.

Elementary Etiquette Lesson Plans

To teach children good manners is to teach them skills that will further their success in any endeavor. Use these lesson plans to teach your students the good manners that will give them the knowledge and confidence to handle any social situation.
  1. Teaching Elementary Etiquette with this Table Manners Lesson Plan
  2. Elementary Etiquette: A Lesson Plan on Gratitude
  3. Teaching Elementary Etiquette with this Lesson Plan on Using Polite Words