Welcome Song
Table Manners


Welcome Song

When a visitor comes to your classroom sing this song to the tune of “Where Is Thumbkin?”
            Welcome visitor’s name.    (Wave.)
            Welcome visitor’s name.
            Welcome to our room        (Open arms with palms up.)
            Welcome to our room
            We’re so glad to see you.  (Hug self.)
            We’re so glad to see you.
            Welcome visitor’s name.   (Open arms with palms up.)
            Welcome visitor’s name.

Phone Calls

Use an old cell phone to practice answering the phone.  Teach these steps:
            Hello, this is name or the residence.
            May I help you?
If someone is calling for the parent say, “One moment, please,” as you gently place the phone down and get the adult.

  • Offer to take a message if the parent isn’t there.
  • Let children practice calling a friend for a play date.
  • This might be a good time to introduce phone courtesy.  It is rude to text or look at your phone if someone is talking to you.  Cell phones never belong at the dinner table or at a social event!  (Most of your students don’t have cell phones, but it’s never too early to plant the seeds of good manners when it comes to technology!)

Line Up Courtesy

Demonstrate that if someone shoves or pushes in line they should step back, let them in, and say, “Please be my guest.”  Praise students for their kindness and manners when you catch them doing this.


Explain that it is rude to interrupt other people when they are talking.  Show children how to gently place their hand on your forearm if they want to say something to you.  The teacher places his other hand on top of the child’s to indicate that they know they are there and will respond to them shortly.

Coughs and Sneezes

Encourage children to catch those sneezes and coughs in their “wings” (arms).
Teach children this rhyme:
            When I have to go kerchoo
            Do you know what I always do?
            I make a wing with my arm just so… 
                (Demonstrate how to bend arm and tuck head.)
            Then into my wing my sneeze will go.
                (Pretend to sneeze and catch it.)

I Don’t Like

Pretend to have a whiny voice as you say, “I don’t like” or “I can’t”!  Let children correct you and demonstrate how to say, “No thank you.”  “I don’t care for any.”  Or, “I’ll try!” and “I think I can!”


Explain that if they don’t understand what someone says they should say, “Pardon.”  That’s much more polite than “What?”

That’s Rude!

What does it mean to be rude?  Calling others names or staring at people who might look or act different from you is very rude because it makes them feel uncomfortable.  Let one student put on a silly hat or glasses.  Classmates pretend to make fun of them and laugh.  Let the student wearing the hat tell how it made them feel.  What should you do instead of laughing, pointing, or staring? People with good manners are always respectful of others!

Kind and Polite Coupons

Run off “Kind and Polite” coupons similar to the ones shown. Pass these out to children to reinforce manners.  Encourage children to give these to friends.

Kind Coupon







Cards, Letters, and Notes

Write thank you notes or draw pictures for school helpers, volunteers, guest speakers, and guides on field trips.

  • Make get-well cards for sick classmates or school helpers.




What Is a Gentleman?  What Is a Lady?

Make a book called “Ladies and Gentlemen.” Children draw pictures of ways to be polite.

Books and Characters

Read books such as THE BERENSTAIN BEARS FORGET THEIR MANNERS.  Call attention to good or bad manners that characters in other books display.  Children love to think they are “better” than others and point out what they would do in a similar situation.

Good Sportsmanship

Being good sports when you play games is another aspect of social skills.
Practice what to do when you don’t win a game or get your own way.  Role play saying, “Oh, well!  Maybe next time!” as you open your palms. 

  • Read Pete the Cat and other stories where the characters model being good sports.  “Did Pete cry?  Goodness no!”

Outside Guests

Invite parents, grandparents, or others in the community to discuss why manners are important when they grow up. 

Writing Opportunities

Invite children to write plays, make posters, draw cartoons, and do other media presentations about manners.

Table Manners

Why is it important to have good table manners?  Demonstrate how to take a napkin and put it in your lap.  Let children pretend to take a fork and chew with their lips together.  Teach children to place their index finger on their lips as a sign to remind friends to chew with their mouths closed.  Explain that it is never polite to put your elbows on the table.  Sit up straight and place your fork or spoon on the side of the plate when you are not eating.  Keep your hands in your lap or someone might say:
            Name, Name strong and able.
            Get your elbows off the table!

Explain that it’s impolite to grab things on the table.  If you need something say, “Would you pass the salt, please?”

Teach children how to set the table correctly.  Draw outlines of the plate, fork, napkin, spoon, knife, and glass on file folder so children can practice.  Have them set the table at their house for homework.


Organize a candlelight lunch once a month in the cafeteria.  Dim the lights, play some soft music, and use battery candles on the tables.  Encourage the children to use whisper voices and their “best” manners.
Children could also make table decorations for these special meals.

Remind children it is always nice to compliment the cook and say, “Thank you!”  *The lunchroom servers will really appreciate your class if they get in the habit of doing this!

Set Expectations

When going on a field trip, having a class party, or other situations, explain your expectations ahead of time.  Let them know what is appropriate and how they should act.

Knowing what to do and how to act in various situations takes practice, persistence, and a positive attitude.  Children will rise to the challenge and feel proud when their social graces pay off!




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