Thursday, February 02, 2012

Meeting and Greeting New People - Montessori Grace and Courtesy in a Practical Life Activity

girl and boy shake hands NAMC montessori children grace courtesy practical life activityFollowing is a Montessori Practical Life activity created by NAMC Graduate, Sarah F. Our thanks to Sarah for sharing this with all of us.

Grace and Courtesy: Meeting and Greeting New People Montessori Practical Life Activity


To give students practice in meeting new people and conducting a polite conversation with new acquaintances.

  • Command cards with scenarios written on them. Example: It is a sunny day and you are at the park. A girl is playing on the monkey bars. You would like to meet her and play with her while you are there. Invite a friend to join you for the lesson and each pick props from the basket. Decide who will play each part and then act out what you would do in the situation.
  • Basket with props like hat, apron, scarf, sunglasses, reading glasses, etc.
This can be presented in Years 1 to 3. Prepare the material and put it in the practical life area. Choose a place in the room where students can use this lesson without disturbing others.

Part 1: Introducing the concept
  • During group time, gather the students in a circle. Announce that the students will have another opportunity to do little plays involving good manners.
  • With an older student or another teacher, role-play the basic steps taken when meeting, greeting, and carrying on a basic conversation with someone new.
  • Discuss with the students what words were said and how the actors behaved.
  • Discuss that when meeting new people they should walk toward the person and stand about an arm’s length from the person.
  • Demonstrate the materials used and how to follow the directions on the command cards. Instruct the students that each pair of students will use only one command card so that it gives others a chance to work with the materials.
Part 2: Working with the materials
  • Invite a student to take a card from the command card box. Have them read this to you and then help them gather the props needed from the basket.
  • Pick which role each will play.
  • Role-play what the command card says having the child use the rules for meeting and greeting new people and their imagination for the conversation.
  • Put the materials away and invite two students to demonstrate the correct way to use the materials.
  • After the presentation invite the students to use the lesson at the designated time for practical life activities.
Create command cards for different scenarios that are common in life and have the children decide what props are needed. Make a short video of one of the plays and share with family and friends.
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, February 2, 2012.


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