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Grace and Courtesy

The Montessori lessons in grace and courtesy are an important part of the curriculum and can be found at every classroom level. These particular lessons are designed to help the student to learn cooperation, socialization, and to also help navigate friendship and collaboration. As with classroom rules and procedures, the lessons in grace and courtesy are given at the beginning of the school year and reviewed as needed. 

Presentation Examples

* Accepting or declining an invitation            * Speaking softly                      * Holding the door

* Asking permission                                      * Waiting for help                     * Placing a hand on a shoulder

* Excusing oneself                                        * Serving snack                        * Using proper table manners

* Greeting or saying goodbye                        * Refusing help                         * Leaving things better than you

* Helping or accepting help                          * Walking carefully                       found them

* Observing a lesson                                    * Using kind language                * Returning items to the proper

* Requesting privacy                                    * Using gentle hands                    place

Mahan, K.A. (2018). Adventure. Frederick, CO: Ohana Montessori.

Anywhere

These lessons can be given anywhere and at anytime. This is an area of Montessori that can really be supported at home.

The lessons of grace and courtesy are incredibly important for the children to learn and will serve them throughout their lives. Simply invite the child to the lesson or discussion. Offer guidance or an example of the desired behavior followed by practice or role play. Answer any questions the child might have and feel free to extend their learning when appropriate. Review these lessons when necessary, and be sure to model proper behavior at all times. 

A Lesson Sample

Walking the Line

Age: 2.5 years+
Materials Needed: A line on the ground
Prior Knowledge: Child should be able to walk independently
Presentation:
*Invite the child to the line.
*Explain that we are going to walk carefully on the line with our feet moving slowly in a heel to toe motion with one foot in front of the other.
*Suggest holding the arms out to the side for additional balance support.
*Demonstrate walking the line.
*Invite the child to try walking the line. 
Control of Error: Visually seeing the foot step off the line
Points of Interest: May choose to add calm music to the background or create a winding or raised line for increased difficulty.
Direct Aim: Careful/controlled movement
Indirect Aim: Following multiple step directions, refining spacial awareness
Language: Feet, foot, line, step, balance, control
Extensions and Variations: Have the child carry a glass of water, bell, or object while walking the line. Have the child try to balance a beanbag on their head while walking. Move to different tempos or step patterns while on the line. 

Want to Learn More

Below is a link that further defines the importance of the lessons of grace and courtesy and helping children to learn self-discipline. Additional examples of lessons to teach at home or school are also included in this quick read.
https://www.greenchildmagazine.com/grace-and-courtesy/
Green Child Magazine. (2018). Grace & courtesy:helping children learn self-discipline. Retrieved from https://www.greenchildmagazine.com/grace-and-courtesy/