Grace and Courtesy Lessons
Origin: Unknown, Edited by Sharlet McClurkin
HOW TO SPEAK TO SOMEONE WHO IS BUSY “GAME”
Materials: Two teachers and a child
- The demonstrator approaches the teacher and child, who are engaged in conversation or reading a book (not a lesson).
- The demonstrator stops at a respectful distance away from the other two people.
- The demonstrator waits and watches for a pause in the conversation or work.
- The demonstrator says, “Excuse me?”, then speaks his need with the teacher.
- Finally, the demonstrator thanks the teacher, and leaves.
HOW TO GET A TURN ON THE MERRY-GO-ROUND OR TIRE SWING “GAME”
Materials: A teacher, acting like a child. Children on the merry-go-round
- Children push the merry-go-round as others sit on it.
- The demonstrator (teacher) approaches and says, “Excuse me! Would you please stop so that I can get on?”
- The demonstrator says “Thank you” when the merry-go-round stops, and gets on the merry-go-round.
- A child then approaches and says and does what the teacher said and did.
- The game goes on until all of the children are aboard.
HOW TO INTERRUPT A TEACHER “GAME”
Materials: Two Teachers and 1 child
- One teacher is busy, giving a lesson to a child.
- The other teacher places his/her hand on the teacher’s shoulder.
- The teacher who is giving a lesson places her hand on top of the child’s hand, nods slightly, and make eye contact with the child.
- The child returns to his work and waits for the teacher’s help.
- If there is an emergency, the child may speak to the teacher right away.
Variation: After a child has placed his/her hand on the teacher’s shoulder, the teacher taps the floor to her right, thus indicating that the child may sit there and wait while she finishes her lesson.
SAYING THANK-YOU “GAME”
Materials: Two teachers, a ball in a basket (change items at each lesson to a tissue, mixing colors’ bowl or another item in the classroom), two small chairs
- Place two chairs next to each other at circle, with the basket and ball to the right of the first teacher’s chair.
- One teacher (demonstrator) invites the assistant teacher to sit next to her left on a small chair.
- The demonstrator takes the ball and hands it to her.
- The demonstrator looks into the eyes of the assistant and says, “Please hand me the ball.”
- The demonstrator receives the ball and looks very surprised and pleased.
- The demonstrator says slowly and clearly, “Thank you!”
- The demonstrator hands back the ball kindly and carefully to the assistant.
- The assistant teacher looks pleased and says “thank you”. (When you show this game with a child, rather than an assistant, whisper, “Please say thank you.” The child says, “Thank you.”
- The demonstrator gets up from the chair and walks up to each child at circle.
- The demonstrator hands each child the ball, looks into the child’s eyes, and waits until the child says, “Thank you.” If the child does not say it, she whispers “Thank you” for him/her.
- The demonstrator puts out her hands to receive the ball back.
- When each child hands her back the ball, the demonstrator looks pleased and says “Thank you,” each time.
Variation at Circle: The demonstrator looks into the eyes of the child on her left and gives the ball to him/her. That child says, “Thank you.” That child turns to the next child on her left, looks into his/her eyes, and gives him/her the ball. That child says “thank you.” If any child does not say “thank you,” the teacher whispers it for the child.
Control of Error: Not seeing the eyes of the person to whom you give the ball; Not seeming appreciative when receiving the ball.
Direct Aim: Feeling confident in a social situation; gaining independence and cooperation.
Age of Introduction: All children, ages 2 ½ to 6, at circle.
Extensions: Presenting other social graces, such as “Excuse me,” etc.