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Good Manners Month Celebration Week

~ on Preschool Interactive Daily Activity Calendar ~

*Parent/Teacher Note:  I've listed all the activities we are hoping to do during our Friendship Celebration Week.  There are purposely more activities for each day than we probably have time for.  Mix and match them to your child's/children's interests, offering a balanced mix throughout each day.  For instance, choose some active and some quiet activities each day and be sure to read every day!  Tailor each activity to your child's specific interests and abilities.

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Main Idea:   Sharing, Working Together, Compromising to get along

materials list/Resources:

Books (book links available in left sidebar under menu):  Mind Your Manners:  In School, Big, Black Bear, Froggy Eats Out, Muppet Manners
Excuse Me!, Clifford's Manners, Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners, Dora's Book of Manners, Barney's Best Manners DVD

Social/Emotional Development:
Show & Tell Thursdays: 
Bring in environmental restaurant print.
Morning Meeting/Circle Time (daily skill work including:  weather, calendar, counting, ABCs, patterning, colors, shapes, songs, music, finger plays, rhymes, creative Movement)
(outside links) Please and Thank You, Clean Up, Clean Up, Cover Your Mouth and Turn Your Head, We're Going to Clean Our Room

Creative Activities/Art/Music/Drama/Aesthetic Learning (including Fine / Large Motor Activities):
School Rules,
Theme Center: 
Tea Time - Cover the housekeeping table with a pretty cloth tablecloth.  Set out some plastic dishes, utensils, cloth napkins, etc.  Hang a few pictures from magazines of children seated politely at a table eating. 

Cognitive/Intellectual Learning:
Language Arts/Literacy Activities/Social Studies: 
Manners / Classroom Rules List, Mannerly Munchkins Club, Rhyme Time
Science/Math/Social Studies: 
Make a Placemat

Internet Links - supplementary (outside links): - Manners Made Easy for Your 3 to 5 Year Old (an article to help you understand what's appropriate for your preschooler), Taming Your Family Zoo: Six Weeks to Raising a Well-Mannered Child (parent book), Disney Online Good Manners with Max online games

Vocabulary Words:  (Spanish and sign language - Each English word links to the word specific link for how to sign that word.  For the home page with links to nearly any word in the ASL browser, click here.):  please / por favor, thank you / gracias, excuse / pardon me / dispénseme, sorry / arrepentido, hello / hola

Motivation/Introduction ~ First Day of Theme:

Benchmark Skills:
5.8 Participates in group discussion
5.9 Uses language to problem solve

Intro - Manners Overview / Manners List (Classroom Rules)
Take pictures of the students engaged in various activities (eating, reading, washing hands, playing in various areas) to show and talk about.  Tell a story of what is happening in each picture and ask the students what each child should say.  Encourage words like, "please, thank you, excuse me, how are you", etc.  (Intersperse Spanish words with the English version.)  Make a Manners / Classroom Rules List using the pictures as icons for each manner / rule.

Lessons (one main lesson a day which can be broken into parts as needed throughout the day):

1. Mind Your Manners: In School - School / Group Manners

Benchmark Skills:
1.6 Demonstrates confidence in growing abilities
4.11 Runs, jumps, hops, and skips
5.10 Follows directions in sequence

School Rules:  School has a few more rules than home like lining up, raising your hand, sitting criss-cross.  Use these tools to help the children learn them:
Follow the Leader:  Begin with the teacher/parent as the leader.  Line up the children and explain to them that they have to stay in line, follow the leader and do whatever he/she does.  Play music or sing, "We're Following the Leader" while marching, skipping, hopping, kicking to the side (conga-style), crawling, moving arms, etc. 

Sitting Criss-cross:  Say this poem when you want them to sit this way:

Criss-cross applesauce (they are forming a bowl like for applesauce with their legs)
Spoons inside (hands are spoons, tucked inside "bowl")
Mouths shut tightly
Eyes open wide.

Hand Raising:  Simon Says is a good game to sum up all the school rules.  It's a great listening activity and you can throw in any skills the kids are working on without them realizing they are learning it.  It's how I got my 2-year-old to learn to sit and stand when requested.  (For very young preschoolers, you can use funny voices - and leave out "Simon Says" for each direction and they'll usually comply just to hear what funny voice comes next!)

Mannerly Munchkin Club:  Explain that whenever you see any of them following directions and using their manners, they will receive a sticker on a progress card.  When they receive, say 5 (or however many you decide), they earn a special story time with you.  Be sure to post each child's picture on the wall showing them doing something mannerly.  continue this activity through the week or even the school year! 
On sentence strips, write "(Name) is a mannerly munchkin." for each child.  Insert his/her picture by his/her name.  Read these each morning at the morning meeting telling each child how he/she was a mannerly munchkin since yesterday.  Have the children read them with you.

2. Big Black Bear - Activities

Benchmark Skills:
1.7 Demonstrates willingness to try new things
3.23 Shows awareness of cause-effect relationships
5.1 Demonstrates phonological awareness (hearing and recognizing the sounds of language)

Build background first with a story walk through the book, Big Black Bear.  Have the children tell you what they see in the pictures, guide them to recognize how the bear seems to be behaving and the girl's reaction to him.  Read the book.  Now, read it again with lots of discussion throughout.  What should the bear say if he wants something?, etc. Ask how Bear fixed his mess and what would happen if children acted like that here.  Show the children the signs for "sorry", "please", "thank you", and "excuse me".  Make behavior cards of actions requiring a polite word.  Practice using these signs with the students as they each draw a card to act out and apply the sign.  This is a great time to introduce the Spanish and sign language vocabulary!
Rhyme Time:  Take advantage of the rhyming in Big Black Bear to play a rhyme game.  Sing some favorite nursery rhymes together.

Snack time:  Pie!

3.  Froggy Eats Out - Table Manners

Benchmark Skills: 
3.7 Identifies letters and signs in the environment
3.4 Demonstrates visual discrimination and visual memory skills
3.13 Demonstrates one-to-one correspondence
5.10 Follows directions in sequence

Background Building - Before reading, build a background by asking if the children go out to eat and where do they like to go.  Continue with Show & Tell.  (Anybody out there know a cute Show & Tell song or chant?  I'm about ready to make up my own because I can't find one I like.)

Show & Tell Thursday:  Have them bring restaurant environmental print to the morning meeting.  (This could be a Burger King bag, a McDonald's fry holder, a Sonic napkin - just something that your child recognizes as where it's from, by "reading" the logo.)  One by one, each child explains what restaurant he/she got his/her environmental print from.  Discuss how they behaved at their last visit while waiting on the meal, while eating, while getting ready to leave.  Children enjoy role-play so pretend to be an obnoxious eater and ask if that behavior is okay.  Attach environmental print to word wall and read story.

Simon Says:  Use Your Table Manners!
Sing Please and Thank You.
Some to keep in mind:  washing hands first, set / clear the table, chewing with a closed mouth, asking, "Please pass the _____", staying seated at the table, saying, "thank you" for the meal / being served, using utensils, putting napkin in lap, using napkin (instead of shirt sleeve!), learning to serve oneself
Make a Placemat
Using an extra large sheet of construction paper for each child.  Print a copy of the placemat clip art for each child.  allow each child to choose the preferred color (of placemat, plate, and utensils cut outs).  Talk about where to glue each cut out on the mat (fork on the left - perhaps on a scrap of fabric glued down as a napkin, knife and spoon on the right).  Let the children search through food magazines for favorite foods to glue on the "plate".  (This activity could easily lead into a healthy discussion of healthy food choices, if desired.)  Laminate for durability.  Use a thick marker to label each child's first name at the top, spelling aloud as you write, asking the child what letter comes next.  Sing NAME-O.

4.  Closure ~ Last Day of Theme:  Muppet Manners
Tea Party

Benchmark Skills: 
2.2 Participates in dramatic play themes that become more involved and complex
4.3 Tries new foods before deciding whether he/she likes them

Tea Party:  Enjoy sharing a fun tea time with the children by dressing up (and having them dig through the dress-up bucket as well), setting a pretty table complete with flowers and serving some yummy food.  Maybe cucumber/cream cheese sandwiches or peanut butter and jelly if you have a picky group, shortbread cookies, cheese cubes, olives, tiny cupcakes with pretty decorations and decaf. fruit-flavored tea.  Allow the children to examine the new foods while encouraging them to taste them.  You could even chart which of the foods were hits and which ones were misses.

Show Time Friday: Barney's Best Manners DVD

See other Preschool Activities Lessons and Themes Preschool Activities, Lessons, and Themes! Preschool Activities, Lessons, Themes


Checking for Student Understanding:
Referring to our Main Idea and Benchmarks, are your children getting along better?  Do you hear words such as "please", "thank you", "sorry"?  Have you witnessed empathetic behavior such as offering hugs, fetching a tissue for a sad friend, etc?  Keep your actions in check and the children will quickly follow your lead!
Teacher/Parent Self-Evaluation:  Let's grow together!  If you have additional ideas, comments or suggestions, let me know!  (

There are many benchmarks that will be taught nearly every day, like "Demonstrates willingness to try new things" or "Shows enjoyment of books and stories and discussion of them".  Throughout the range of activities offered here, there will be a focus on one or two, although there are usually many covered in one simple activity.  Repetition is the key with learning - especially in early childhood.  However, even though you may do the same basic activity, it can be adapted to your child's level, interests, and theme.


Themed books linked to

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