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Learning and Practicing Good Manners, Grades 6-8

Lessons, Resources, and Activities to Practice Good Manners

Found in: classroom management, character education, health & phys. ed.6-8

Manners are rules for common behavior for moments when good sense deserts us. September and the beginning of the school year coincide with National Children's Good Manners Month, which affords the perfect opportunity to see how classroom rules, manners, and good sense make perfect sense. Manners change with time and vary in different cultures.

Use the following lessons, resources, and activities to practice good manners, investigate temporal and cultural differences, and test students' knowledge.

Lesson Plans

Good Messaging Manners
Students in grades 6-8 learn guidelines for good manners in cyberspace, including tips for E-mail, instant messages, chat, and message boards. Student and home connection sheets in DPF format.

Manners & Mores of Washington’s America ( PDF, 279 KB, 3 pgs.)
Students in grades 6-8 investigate the manners and mores of late 18th-century America and of the personal rules of decorum by which George Washington lived.


The Good Behavior Game Manual ( PDF, 122 KB, 38 pgs.)
“A team competition for prizes, privileges, and special activities. Check marks are recorded on the blackboard for a team when disruptive behavior of any team member occurs. If the check marks for a team remain below a pre-set number (4) by the end of the Game the team wins. All teams may win if their check marks do not exceed the pre-set number (4).”

Background Resources

Etiquette: Online Books
Links to three centuries of books on etiquette and manners for children, teens, men, and women.

Etiquette: A History of Social Dance in America
Etiquette in eighteenth and nineteenth century ballrooms



A Treatise on Good Manners and Good Breeding by Jonathan Swift
Unlike Swift’s satiric “Modest Proposal,” this brief essay is a straightforward discussion of manners. He recognizes cultural differences, acknowledging that nations fix manners “best suited to their general customs.”



Video, Audio, Books




  • The History of Manners (The Civilizing Process, Vol. 1)
    By Norbert Elias
    Pantheon; 1st paperback edition (August 12, 1982)
  • Learning How to Behave: A Historical Study of American Etiquette Books
    By Arthur M. Schlesinger, Sr.
    Cooper Square Publishers (1968)
  • A Short History of Rudeness: Manners, Morals, and Misbehavior in Modern America
    By Mark Caldwell
    Picador; 1st edition (July 7, 2000)

last updated: July 15, 2014


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