Use this elementary Sunday school lesson with kids in grades 1 and 2 to teach kids about the importance of having good manners.
For every two children, write on a 3X5 card a simple situation that requires manners; for example, “You’re at the library with your cousin, and a friend comes over. What do you do?” (Introduce them.)
After children arrive, form pairs and give each pair a card. Have pairs each read their situation aloud. Ask children to guess the mannerly thing to do. Then have pairs take turns role playing their situations.
2. Love in Action
Say: Today we’re going to talk about love in action-good manners!
Read aloud Genesis 18:1-8.
Say: Hospitality is a form of manners; it means to make someone comfortable in your house.
- What hospitable things did Abraham do? (Eagerly greeted them; introduced himself; offered to wash their feet; let them rest in the shade, and fed and served them his best food and milk.)
Say: When we use good manners we treat people with kindness.
3. How Do You Do?
Form a circle and have have kids link elbows. Choose three children to be outside the circle. Have these children try to get in the circle while the others try to keep them out. After five minutes, ask:
- How did you feel being left out of the circle? keeping others out of the circle?
- How do you feel when people leave you out?
Say: When we don’t introduce new people to each other, we make them feel left out. Today, we’re going to learn the mannerly way to introduce others.
Form trios. Have one child at a time practice introducing the other two children to each other. For example, have kids say: “Sarah, this is my friend, Bob. Bob, this is Sarah, my next-door neighbor.”
Continue until everyone has been introduced in each trio.
4. Nice to Meet You
Say: Often after meeting someone new, people say, “Nice to meet you.” Let’s make cards for the people in our trio to let them know we’re glad to know them.
Give kids construction paper, glitter glue and markers to make cards for each other. Then have them present their cards to each other.
5. Sharing Is Caring
Set out sugar cookie dough and give each child several Hershey’s Kisses. Have kids unwrap their candies and wrap cookie dough around them. Place cookie balls on cookie sheets and bake them.
While cookies are baking, have kids go to another class (clear this with the teacher ahead of time) and invite the kids for refreshments. Encourage children to practice good manners by introducing themselves to their guests.
Close in prayer.
Debbie Trafton O’Neal is a teacher in Washington. She has worked with children for 15 years.
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