Description: A classroom atmosphere is created in which students become excited
about using their best manners. They practice good manners and use technology
as a tool for their manners unit.
· To encourage children to use good manners
· To teach students about proper behavior in the classroom and in other
· To use technology as a tool for learning about manners and values
Software and Hardware: Computer lab (see adaptations if lab is not available).
Optional: scanner, digital camera, video camera or video clips, and LCD; software--word
processing, outlining, data base, desktop publishing, clip art, presentation.
Other Needs: Information on good manners
Time Required: "Good Manners are Fun!" may involve several lessons
or could become a unit or year-long theme for a class.
Note: Manners and values instruction may fit into the social studies curriculum
or may be integrated into coursework through a cross-curricular approach.
There are numerous ways to include manners and technology in the curriculum.
A few suggestions are:
Students write and publish their own books of good manners. These books emphasize
values, respect for others, and integrity in addition to proper behavior in
different social situations. The books might be called, "Manners for Grade
___ Students," "Manners is our Favorite Subject," or "We
Love Good Manners."
Each student completes a few HyperCard stack pages on a specific area manners.
The pages are merged to create a class stack about good manners.
Students create posters and banners about manners.
Students write thank you letters to a guest speaker or for a gift.
Students make an outline about good manners at the theater, in the home at
a meal, at a party, etc.
Students create stories about problems with manners. These stories should
be the type which end but are not finished. The stories are printed and distributed
for the class to read and role play the situations.
Students create party invitations, menus for a party, favors for a party,
Students write a letter to their grandparents.
Students practice good manners during use of telecommunications. (Teacher
might want to use the information provided at this site on Safety Online </edres/safetymenu.shtml>)
Students make a data base which includes the titles, names, street addresses,
cities, states, and zip codes of their parents. They use this data base to create
address labels. The labels are attached to letters inviting the parents to a
special program about good manners.
Students write crazy stories about mealtime disasters. The stories are saved
and printed. Other students read the stories, and then write their suggestions
about how the mealtime disasters could have been averted.
Students create HyperCard stacks or computer presentations on proper use of
utensils at meals.
They scan photos or drawings of the utensils and place the scanned pictures
into the stack.
Students create a classroom newspaper on manners.
Students become playwrights as they write plays about good manners during
sports and recess.
Students use graphics and sound to demonstrate how to make introductions.
Students write articles to the newspaper about their studies of good manners.
Student take digital pictures of children using good manners. They add text
and publish posters of good manners.
Students make up brief dramas about use of good manners. They put these on
videotape and then into computer presentations.
Follow-Up/Extensions: Parents and community members appreciate class activities
which emphasize good manners. Communication with the community is suggested.
Parents and community members will enjoy being invited to the school to hear
about manners programs, and to view the computer presentations and other computer-related
products. Students may present programs on good manners for other classes.
Adaptions: This project may be completed using one classroom computer. Students
or student groups may take turns putting information into the computer. A LCD
or other projector may be used for the class to work on the project together.
Suggestions for Parents: There are so many ways to teach and reinforce good
manners at home. First of all, you must set expectations for mannerly behavior.
Children need to know what they are expected to do and that they must live up
to expectations. Often showing by example will be enough for children to know
how they should act. However, they'll be sure to observe actions and speech
on television, online, and in public that will be unacceptable to your family.
They must know that you will not accept these behaviors.
Just practicing answering the telephone can be great fun for "your special
telephone answerer." Helping to plan a special dinner and showing good
manners at the dinner is exciting for a young child. Helping Mom be seated at
the table or holding the door for older people is something children enjoy.
Having fun with good manners can lay the groundwork for the future.
Beginner's Guide to: Good Manners
Try and keep cool, particularly in the heated discussion areas. Bear in mind
that it is very easy to misread the tone of a message, and give it a sarcasm
that was never intended. Often a smiley is used to indicate that the writer
is joking, it looks like this: :-)
Beware of leaving the caps lock on when writing e-mail or USENET messages, and
only typing capital letters. It may make things easier for you, but it instantly
marks you as a beginner, and is generally refered to as shouting. YOU CAN PROBABLY
Ask clear questions.
If you are mailing someone with a question, (and have read the FAQ!), then make
it as easy as possible for them to help you. Make your question as clear and
specific as possible, and if relevant provide as much information as possible.
Consider the following two versions of a question:
Please Help! I am new to the net and don't know what to do!
Where can I find a good Beginner's Guide to tools for using the net?
I am using a Macintosh computer. Thank You.
The second version encourages a concise and to the point answer, and is much
more likely to get a helpful response..
Don't get offended easily
There are some very helpful people on the Internet, and also some very busy
people. So don't get offended if you do not get a rapid reply - no one is obliged
to help you out, and some people get an awful lot of e-mail.
Give something back
If you do get a lot of information back as the result of a question, then you
will very likely also get several e-mail messages along the lines of "I'd
like to know too if you find out" It may be a great help to other to summarise
all the information you receive and tell the USENET group or mailing list. Many
of the helpful guru's out on the net will also appreciate a short thank you
Keep a small sig
Many users like to have a witty quote or saying at the bottom of their messages,
known as a SIG, (Short for signiature). Some also go way over the top with all
sorts of quotations, jokes, favorite locations on the web, and even pictures
done in type. Keep your sig to 4 lines or less.
Stay on topic
Always try and be sure you are asking your questions or leaving messages in
the correct place. Sometimes discussions drift onto new topics, and this is
very confusing for those who were expecting something else entirely. It is also
good manners to live and let live. For example it would not be acceptable for
a scientist to leave critical messages in the astrology discussion group - the
astrology group is for people who DO believe in it. Similarly, it would not
be acceptable for an astrologer to make provocative posts in the astronomy discussion
areas. (There is a separate USENET group called sci.skeptic for this sort of
Some people will also place messages absolutely everywhere with no regard for
it being appropriate. This is generally called 'spamming' after the Monty Python
sketch in which the characters order Spam, spam, spam, spam, sausage, spam,
Don't let them wind you up
Some childish net users like to deliberately leave messages to wind up other
net users. This is often called 'flame bait'. For example, it is not rare for
someone to drop a message into one of the Star Trek disussion areas accusing
them of not having a proper life. There is no point in a heated response, as
that is exactly what they want, (and they have probably moved on anyway!).
Table Manners for Kids and Parents
Elbows on the table, double dipping, and trips to the restroom -- how is your
family doing when it comes to the social graces at the dinner table? The answers
to the questions (just five), may tell and we'll tally the score.
1) When is it acceptable to put your elbows on the table?
Top of Form 1
Only between courses. (x)
While you are eating.
2) During the meal you need to visit the restroom. What do you do?
Announce to everyone, "I've gotta go to the toilet."
Say, "Excuse me for a moment, I'll be right back." (x)
Say nothing -- just leave.
Sit quietly and suffer until the meal is over.
3) When you are not eating, where do you keep your hands?
On your lap or resting on the table. (x)
In your pockets.
Keep 'em busy. Drum a little tune with your fingers.
4) Is it good manners to read the newspaper at the table?
Only if you're willing to share the sports section.
Yes -- as long as you keep it neatly folded.
No. Reading or watching TV during dinner is a social no-no.(x)
5)At dinner, when should you start eating?
As soon as you are served.
When everyone has been served
When the host or parent begins to eat. (x)
30-40: Barley civilized.
50-70: Well mannered.
80-90: Very good!
100: Outstanding! Your parents should be proud.
Living Manners for Kids & Parents
The national anthem, "Please" and "Thank You" -- how are
the kids doing when it comes to the social graces? The answers to the questions
(just five), may tell and we'll tally the score.
1)Double dipping: When eating chips with dip, is it OK to dip, take a bite,
and return for more dip with the same chip?
2)When talking with friends, family, it's not necessary to say "Please"
and "Thank You".
3)You and your folks are at the ballpark watching a ballgame and the national
anthem begins to play. What do you do?
Remove your hat, stand at attention, and salute the flag at the first note
of the National Anthem and hold the salute until the last note is played.(x)
Do nothing -- any kind of "honors" will make you look like a geek.
4)You're over at a friend's house for dinner and are served a dish you've never
had or seen before. What do you do?
Make a face and poke it with your fork.(x)
Wait until the host looks away and give it to the family dog.
Say something like, "Thank you, I love new foods. I've never had this before
and I can't wait to try it."
5)After you've received a birthday gift it is proper to send a "Thank-you"
note. How soon should you write it?
Within 24 hours of receiving the gift.(x)
Within a month.
Anytime before your next birthday.
30-40: Barley civilized.
50-70: Well mannered.
80-90: Very good!
100: Outstanding! Your parents should be proud.
The London Times
CHILDREN WHO DO THE RIGHT THING
· CALIFORNIAN CHILDREN ARE ABANDONING THE BEACHES IN FAVOUR OF ETIQUETTE
It's a sultry day in Manhattan Beach, a chi-chi suburb just south of Los Angeles.
It's the kind of place where even the children have full social diaries, and
are ferried from one engagement to the next in gas-guzzling Sports Utility Vehicles.
When the diary is empty there is always skateboarding, surfing and splashing
around in backyard swimming pools.
But down at the local community centre there is no talk of swimming or in-line
skating. On a hot day at the end of the summer holidays, the ten children sitting
in a classroom here are, of all things, learning the correct way to eat waffles.
"Now, let me see how you eat it - this finger and this finger covering
the handle," instructs the tutor, Maggie O'Farrill, tilting her head and
smiling at a small blonde girl. "Kelly, perfect! You are really trying."
Kelly Kennedy beams at her friend, Ally Van Deuren. The lesson moves on. "Now
we always leave something on our plates, like that," instructs O'Farrill.
"Even if it's just a little piece. Do you remember why we do that?"
Eight year-old Moriah Ducoulombier raises her hand and the worlds tumble out.
"Because then they think she wants more only we don't have any more!"
One child asks the teacher what she should have done the other night when attempting
to eat marinated spare ribs with her hair hanging loose. The answer? Tie your
hair back before you visit a restaurant, and don't order ribs or corn-on-the-cob.
It seems incongruous that in the land of the hamburger, children should be learning
evolved dining manners. And it is surely no coincidence that the two people
behind the course hail from more conservative countries.
O'Farrill grew up in Mexico City, where she frequently dined at the home of
her uncle, the Irish Consul-General. At 13 she moved with her mother to America,
and was shocked by the playground manners at her junior high school.
"The girls did not sit down properly. The boys were not very respectful.
There was too much physical contact. And it was very noticeable how people held
their spoons - in some cases in their fists."
O'Farrill's horror at what she discovered at 13 is mirrored by that of Idris
J Al-Oboudi, recreation services manager for Manhattan Beach, and the man who
dreamt up the course. Al-Oboudi grew up in the Middle East, son of a diplomat
father and Irish-American mother, and attended a Russian school for dance.
"Part of our teaching was also to have certain graces. We were living in
a society where it was important to hold yourself in a certain way." His
own children, aged six and nine, have grown up in California, and while he has
not dispatched them to the class yet, he says he is considering it: "They
need to hear things from somebody else, and they need to be around other children
in order to learn those things."
Out and about in Manhattan Beach, Al-Oboudi has been affronted by some appalling
juvenile manners: "Sometimes I see children eating and wiping their hands
on their clothes," he says. "Do they really truly see themselves?
We're holding a mirror up to them."
It might sound a painful process, yet the children actually appear to enjoy
the course, which consists of two three-hour sessions. Occasionally they feel
faintly silly, but that is the only objection. Nine-year-old Erica Reiss confides
to me, for example, that she feels like a rabbit when she is asked to eat with
sponges tucked under her arms - a technique to dissuade the children from raising
their elbows too high.
"At least you didn't look like a chicken," points out Noell Nelson,
aged ten. She also tells me that she has a book on etiquette called The Good
Idea Kids: Manners for the younger set which includes such tips as "Don't
drink from the finger bowl". As far as Noell is concerned, the point of
the course is to "make us feel comfortable at fancy dinners. Like Maggie
was saying, now we can feel comfortable if we're invited to the White House."
The threat of some grand encounter at which they will be found wanting appears
to haunt all the children, most of whom consider this stuff a bit de trop at
Liz Trivers, the mother of seven-year-old Julian Myers, says that she told her
son: " 'If you were ever asked to lunch with the Queen of England, you'd
use what you've been taught'. Now he's terrified he will have to meet the queen."
Other tips from the etiquette experts: never invite yourself to a party. "Don't
bring extra friends. If you're very close you can ring and say, 'Is it OK to
bring my cousin from out of town?' "
"Why is this a good rule?" O'Farrill asks. "They might only have
ten buns," suggests Jaime Frey, ten, who has come with his younger sister
I doubt if any of the children in the room would ever horrify anyone with their
manners, which begs the question of why their parents wanted to pay $75.00 for
the course. Yet there seems to have been something of a stampede for the course
among the mothers of Manhattan Beach, though some of them seem vaguely sheepish
It is clear that the parents have all taught their children manners - they just
think they might have missed something, or that their offspring might listen
more attentively to a stranger.
"I think this stuff is good to have," says Kim Hammond, mother of
Reilly. "You may not use it every day, but it's in the back of the mind
for certain situations. And it helps build self-esteem and self-confidence."
Liz Trivers works as a singer-songwriter but she actually grew up in the South,
and was sent to cotillion classes by her parents. "It's a Southern tradition.
You were told to sit quietly and wait until a boy asked you to dance. I was
taught to be a wallflower!" she says. Given her profession you might expect
her to be more interested in encouraging her son's self-expression than his
manners. But she feels this would be doing him a disservice. "This is a
community where people are still concerned about manners," says Trivers.
"There are really good public schools here, so we all send our children
to them. But while the education is excellent, perhaps what's missing is - how
can I put it - the fine tuning of a child."
In one sense, these children may find it harder to make their way socially than
they would in other, more conservative parts of America. Casual dress can be
misleading. In the entertainment industry, in particular, partying is as much
about making contacts and winning jobs as anything else. Even a Sunday afternoon
barbecue can be, in effect, a business meeting. In this environment, the tongue-tied
are unlikely to get very far.
Maggie O'Farrill's social advice is designed to help children suppress their
shyness from an early age. "We don't worry about what we're going to say.
We just worry about getting to know the person," she says. She teaches
the children to shake hands - "Girls do not get up. Boys do get up,"
then asks, "If no one introduces you, what do you do?"
"Introduce yourself!" choruses the class.
Come to think of it there are quite a few adults who could benefit from these
· Etiquette: Shuddering at the prospect of rude children loose in Manhattan
Beach, the city offers them popular classes to learn social skills.
Raising her children on the mean streets of Manhattan Beach, Pat Real said,
she used to cringe whenever her son Joey, now 8, ate at a neighbor's house or
at a restaurant
"My child is an animal," she jokes. "He's never met a utensil
he likes. He eats with his hands."
City officials realized that Real was not the only parent worried about sending
an unmannered child out into the increasingly yuppified world of Manhattan Beach,
which has seen a recent influx of entertainment and Internet money. So they
created what they say no other Los Angeles area municipality has: city-sponsored
etiquette classes for children.
The youngsters are taught which fork to use when, how to ask on the telephone
to speak with a friend, how to shake hands during an introduction, the proper
way to walk and sit down, and how to listen to others.
All that is proving increasingly popular since the program began three years
ago. The 11 summer sessions, each with a total of six hours of class time, are
nearly filled and more are planned for the fall. Parents pay approx. $70.00
- about the same as for a city-sponsered art class.
"Parents are very concerned that their children have proper manners,"
said Idris J. Al-Oboudi, recreation services manager for Manhattan Beach. Al-Oboudi
said he got the idea for the classes after seeing a television program about
children's etiquette three years ago. In a success-oriented community such as
Manhattan Beach, or indeed, any community, manners classes should be just as
available in the summer as science classes or sea kayaking clinics, he said.
"This helps them know what to do, how to do it and why to do it. You don't
get a second chance at first impressions," Al Oboudi said. "In the
modern communities we live in today, sometimes we tend to forget these things.
If you learn these skills, you will be able to hit it off with your teachers,
with your counselors and express yourself much better."
Real agreed, "I love it. I love that we're that cultured in Manhattan Beach,"
she said recently, peeking in the window of the tiny classroom in Manhattan
Heights Park where Joey and 15 boys and girls younger than 10 were reviewing
the proper techniques for buttering and eating a dinner roll.
Inside, 8-year-old Sarah Strickley clutched her mouth with both hands, her eyes
wide with horror.
After politely offering bread to the girls seated on either side of her, Sarah
had jerked the plate up too quickly, sending an errant roll bouncing onto the
table and then -- as all three girls gasped -- onto the floor.
Their instructor, Maggie O'Farrill, took it in stride. After all, she noted,
one of the ironclad rules of etiquette is that it is impolite to publicly correct
others' behavioral lapses, although you may silently judge them.
O'Farrill knows her manners; it's her family business. Her mother, Margarita
O'Farrill, had one of the first Spanish language etiquette shows in Los Angeles,
and her brother and sister are etiquette teachers. This summer, she is assisted
by her son, Bryan, 22.
Her most important lesson, O'Farrill said, is for the children to treat other
people well. "Behind all etiquette is the golden rule," she said.
But many parents said they put their children in the classes not only to do
unto others, but also to help themselves.
"I think it's really important to know manners and etiquette," said
Helen Griffin, who enrolled her 8-year-old son after she noticed him wiping
his mouth on his sleeves. "My husband thinks I'm crazy... but first impressions
are so important, especially for college and professional years."
Many children politely concurred, at least in front of their teacher, as they
chomped on chocolate cake while learning the proper method of using a fork to
cut soft foods. (A few parents confided that they had to bribe the children
with Nintendo games to get them in the door on the first day.)
"I'm learning better manners," said Kimberly Olson, 8, delicately
swabbing at a hunk of frosting on her chin. "It's important to put your
napkin on your lap."
To sweeten the etiquette lessons, children have eaten waffles, sweet cereal
and orange juice--stand-ins for finer dining options of steak, soup and sparkling
This combination of sweets and sensible instruction works well with children,
Children don't always listen to their parents' attempts to instill proper manners;
it's easier to hear it from a teacher and in a group, she said. In addition,
many parents themselves may not know what fork to use and which person to introduce
first. That leads O'Farrill to stress another rule: She tells the children not
to go home and berate their parents for improper manners.
Nevertheless, some children have been unable to resist, parents said.
Meg Borcia, who works as a ticket agent for Northwest Airlines at Los Angeles
International Airport, said she is victimized by the general public's lack of
etiquette on a daily basis. Recently, she has been receiving a steady stream
of table-setting tips from her two children, both enrolled in O'Farrill's classes.
She doesn't mind. Her children, she said, tend to tune her out when she corrects
their manners, Borcia said. Yet, when O'Farrill complimented her son's waffle-cutting
skills, he came home delighted.
"I think having good manners makes them feel like they're respected,"
However, her son has cautioned her not to expect a complete change in behavior.
"He told me", You know, Mom, just because I learn it here doesn't
mean I'm going to use it at home,'" she said.
The Beverly Hills Courier
Beverly Hills Promotes Good Manners
"Please" and "thank you" are magic words. They create a
language of consideration, thoughtfulness and an aura of friendliness. The loss
of manners is something the City of Beverly Hills feels should be remedied and
steps have been taken to offer the children of the community classes in etiquette
and manners. The course, Etiquette and Social Grace, was developed to increase
children's appreciation and knowledge of good manners, to help them improve
self-esteem and demonstrate more confidence in various social settings. Topics
covered will include why manners are important, the significance of introductions
and first impressions, displaying poise, developing good speaking and listening
skills, learning restaurant manners, and proper table setting, and developing
good phone manners and more.
The instructor, Maggie O'Farrill has more than 20 years of experience in personal
development and social skills training. She has developed courses that address
social challenges for children, teens and young adults, She served as program
director for her mother's finishing school, The Margarita O'Farrill Instutute.
O'Farrill said she chooses a few things the kids can use for years.
"I stress manners at the table, conversational and listening skills, and
walking and seating poise."
"My class is designed to understand the reasons behind the rules."
"When you set a table it's done in a way that you know what is yours. It
is also done in a way to keep the noise down and to keep harmony and avoid fights
and accidents," O'Farrill said.
According to O'Farrill, "Children think manners are boring, but they are
learning smething they will benefit from the rest of their lives. They will
continue meeting people and making first impressions and they are very important."
She talks to the kids about table settings and social tips and what they mean.
She also explains why they came into existence and the importance of body language
"One of the biggest obstacles is simply to get the kids to say hello and
good-bye when they enter and leave a room," she said.
The class also deals with phone manners, thank-you cards, introductions, and
first impressions. She also stresses that role playing is good for self-esteem
and learning to respect others.
"We teach restaurant manners and are searching for a location for a graduation
dinner for the class to come, dress up and have the opportunity to use the skills
they've learned in a real setting." she said.
According to Chris Best Senior Recreation Supervisor at Bever Hills Recreation
and Parks, they weren't sure how the class would be received, but now it's always