Within every young child is the need for order. The initial lessons of Grace and Courtesy center on building the Montessori classroom community, and are often presented in the context of the Montessori Practical Life curriculum. They answer the child’s questions of how they fit into and participate in their environment. Using clear language and modeling, Montessori teachers present these lessons to provide structure so the child can know her place, not only in the Montessori environment, but in the world at large.
Montessori Grace and Courtesy: Lesson Resources for Infants, Toddlers & PreschoolersToddlers are very empathetic. They become concerned when hearing a baby cry and are quick to offer help and sympathy if someone is hurt or seems sad. They have a natural propensity to serve others. They are able to identify these emotions within themselves and are able to show an awareness of and compassion for others through this empathy.
Children between the ages of 2.5 to 6 are in a sensitive period for learning courtesy and manners. Learning to act appropriately in one’s own culture is another aspect of the lessons of Grace and Courtesy. These lessons begin as soon as the child enters the Montessori environment. By developing a sense of cultural awareness, children learn how to live with dignity, respect and politeness toward themselves and others.
Early Lessons in Grace and Courtesy
Early lessons of grace and courtesy develop positive interpersonal skills that will serve children throughout their lives. Demonstrations of Practical Life activities involving Grace and Courtesy, as well as modeling this behavior, are designed to nurture a child’s natural qualities of Grace and Courtesy, and his inherent desire to contribute to the peaceful order of his environment.
- greeting someone
- introducing oneself
- shaking hands
- receiving visitors
- apologizing/excusing oneself
- watching and observing others
- taking turns
- interrupting/asking for help
- using a quiet voice
- speaking in a polite tone
- saying please and thank you
- blowing one’s nose
- coughing and sneezing
- washing one’s hands
- inviting and refusing a partner or playmate
- respecting others and their space
- walking around people and objects
- sitting on and putting away a chair
- walking in line
- offering food
- caring for works, books, and the environment
- rolling a rug
- carrying work or objects
- being silent
- being kind
- making friends
The NAMC 3-6 Practical Life manual provides lessons in Grace and Courtesy.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Wednesday, March 3, 2010.