Tuesday, February 17

Grace and Courtesy Games

A word about Grace and Courtesy: Dr. Montessori believed lessons in Grace and Courtesy (manners) were very important to the developement of the child. Not only are they important for preserving our culture but for helping the child feel comfortable and self-confident within the culture.

Between the ages of 2 1/2 -6, the child is in a sensitive period for lessons in Grace and Courtesy. Montessori observed children at this age have a special interest and attention to the way in which they see society function and adults behave.

The essential thing in teaching the child grace and courtesy is that it is presented to the child, but he is not forced to or reprimanded if he forgets. The lessons are used to provide the knowledge so when presented with a situation he knows how to preform the actions if he has the desire to do so.
My experience with teaching these lessons is with one on one, small group and large group. There are formal lessons used, but I also like to use games or role playing to reinforce the skill. At home, my daughter thinks it is so fun to use dolls to roll play situations- like how to introduce oneself or what to do if you accidentally bump into someone. I have used these two games for working in a small group or large group setting.

Please Pass Game- Today we played this game. I put some objects in the middle of the rug. I started by saying "_____ please pass me the ____" My daughter then handed me the object. I said "Thank You." She then had a turn and asked her friend to pass her an object, and so the game went until all the objects are gone.

Another variation of this game is if sitting at circle time. One object is used. The child to the right of the teacher starts with the object. The teacher says "_____ please pass me the ____" The child passes to the teacher and teacher says "thank you." The child to the left of the teacher than asks for the object to be passed and so on, so that the object moves clockwise around the circle with "please" and "thank you."

Excuse me game: This is a small group or large group game. The children stand, spaced apart but holding hands in a line. The teacher starts by standing on one side of the line. The teacher walks up to a pair of children holding hands and says "Excuse me" The children then drop hands and the teacher walks between them to the other side. The teacher joins the end of the line and holds a child's hand. The child at the other end takes a turn.


Michie said...

I tried this game with my daughter, when I asked her to clean up her blocks. We asked each other to pass blocks of certain shapes and colors. Of course, my daughter being who she is, eventually started wanting to pass things with her feet! So then we played "Please pass the" game but had to tell each other "how" to pass the things. She enjoyed this silly version too.

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