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Mind your Manners Lesson   © Jenny Jenkins 2016  www.valueslessonsnz.com

Have the slogan 'Mind your Manners' displayed in a prominent place. 

Other lesson ideas for Manners are listed as subpages at the side or bottom.


Different cultures have different manners. Something that people from one culture do to be polite may offend a person from another culture. 

What are manners? 


1. Has anyone ever told you to 'mind your manners?' What were you doing? (Perhaps being being cheeky.) But good manners are so much more than just not being cheeky. 

2. Are there different manners for different places? What places? Table manners  (see activity), classroom, movie theatres, queues, shops, bus or train manners etc.) 

3. Are there manners for different activities? What are good manners for playing cards or board games? 

4. Are there manners for meetings? What are good manners for sitting in a large meeting? 

5. Are there manners for different ages? What are good manners for relating to old people? 

6. Are there manners for different occasions? What are good manners for answering or talking on the phone? What are good manners for Facebook?

7. What things do you think of when I mention good manners? (Make a list: saying please and thank you, letting someone through a door first etc.)
What do all these have in common?
So what is one sentence that would sum up what good manners are?

8. What are bad manners? (Make a list)
What do all these have in common?
Who can think of a sentence that would sum up what bad manners are?

9. So manners is mostly about treating others with what? (Respect) Why is this important?

10. What would our classroom be like if no one used good manners?
How would you feel if people were disrespectful to you all day?

11. Good manners are not just about using the right words. Say I wanted to borrow a pen, what words could I say? (May I please borrow your pen?)
Ask this question four times to different students. 
Image result for passing pen
May I please borrow your pen? After each time say: I used polite words, but was I using good manners? Why not?
a. The first time, say it in a slow, bored or disrespectful voice while looking away, and then roll your eyes. When they pass it to you, say 'Thanks,' sarcastically.
b. The second time mumble it while looking at the floor and with your arms crossed. Mutter 'Thanks.'
c. The third time stand very close with a grim face and say it in a loud, aggressive voice, stressing the words 'please' and 'pen.' Shout 'Thank you,' with the stress on 'Thank.'
d. The fourth time say it politely with a smile and eye contact.

12. What ingredients do I need to be polite? (tone of voice, eye contact, respect, friendly, open body language, humility, sincerity etc.)

Note to Teacher: Manners are better caught than taught. Set a great example yourself and praise the students you notice using good manners. If your students work in groups, set up a competition for the Best Mannered Group for the week.

Activities teaches polite table manners.

Role play teaches polite greetings. (See side menu)

Games teach 'Please and Thank you'.

This Week's Challenge
Become the politest person in your home. See if anyone notices. Count how many compliments you get for your good manners this week. Keep a log of what you received them for and report back to the class at the end of the week.

Begin the Next Lesson with Revision

1. What are the ingredients for using good manners? (Tone of voice, eye contact, respect, body language, humility, sincerity)
2. How do you feel when you treat people politely?
3. How do you feel when you treat people rudely?

Use this poster for 10-14 year olds:  https://nz.pinterest.com/pin/41517627791593594/