One of my favorite group time activities is what we call Language Charts (LC.) Language charts are a great way to capture the thoughts of the group and get their opinion on any given topic. The LC topic posed is almost always in an open ended format and does not ask for a correct answer. All answers are recorded as the children give them (though I have had to cut a few short, or ask the children to re-frame their answer.) I use LC’s for many reasons; however this week I used one to establish a baseline of knowledge before we delved into a topic of study: manners and responsibility.
Tell me about “Manners.”
BA: Don’t say bad words.
RL: Listen to the teacher's words.
EF: When the teacher is talking you need to be quiet.
SM: When I talking to CE and someone else was talking at the same time that be annoying.
OM: Have good manners because when mommy and daddy are talking at me at the same time that be annoying.
JH: You say sometimes please and don't say bad words.
KW: You don't say bad words to our friends.
SS: Can't hurt somebody, you can hug 'em or kiss 'em.
EP: When somebody gives you something you say please and thank you.
RB: Manners, you gotta say, when you say a bad word someone won't like that.
CE: You say please and thank you and you're welcome.
From this conversation we were able to pull many threads to help us plan for the next step: How do words make us and others feel? When can we use our manners? Why do we use our manners?
It's been a great week full of great discussions so far. Our discussions have turned toward the responsibility side of manners and today I gave the children "homework." I asked them to come back tomorrow and share with the group one way they helped someone else. I am looking forward to the results!