Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Pass the Manners, Please

Cathy Burgess
Bay District Schools


Students become aware of correct classroom communication and manners by reading the book, [David Goes to School], and playing the Good Manners Pudding Game. This is the first lesson in the All About Me Unit.


The student knows how to use positive communication skills when expressing needs, wants, and feelings.

The student uses prior knowledge, illustrations, and text to make predictions.


-Diagnostic Assessment, one per student (see Extensions)
-Colored markers (two different colors to show contrast on T-chart)
-Chart paper
-Book, [David Goes to School], Shannon, Blue Sky Press, 1999 (or any other book about classroom manners)
-8-ounce Instant Pudding (any flavor; 1 box equals 10 servings)
-Milk 2 cups
-Large spoon
-Large clean coffee can
-Tape (strong enough to seal the coffee can)
-Diagnostic Assessment (one for each student)
-Paper plate or paper cups (one for each child for their desk)
-Plastic spoons
-Baby wipes to clean hands


1. Duplicate the diagnostic assessment for each student.

2. Gather books, chart paper, and markers so they are available to use after the class discussion of [David Goes to School].

3. You need one large clean coffee can with a lid and tape to seal it after putting in the pudding and milk.

4. You need enough instant pudding for your whole class. One 8 oz. box makes ten servings and each student only needs a large spoonful. (You may want to prepare one batch ahead of time for the Girl Scout motto, “Always be prepared.")

5. A paper plate and plastic spoon are needed for each student. (If possible have a volunteer or paraprofessional put them on the students' desks, while they are playing the Good Manners game.

6. A large spoon to put the pudding on the students’ desks is needed.

7. Obtain the book, [David Goes to School]. Mark the pages 8 and 21 in with a sticky note for easy reference while predicting.

8. Create a T-chart for good/bad manners in procedures 2-d.


Day 1
Prior to beginning this unit, students will need to have completed the Diagnostic Assessment. See Extensions for further information.

Day 2, Lesson 1
Make sure your students are familiar with class rules and routines because they may come up as you discuss manners.

Be sure to check student information cards for food allergies. You don’t want to make chocolate pudding if a student is allergic to chocolate.

Circle Time: is a part of the day when the children gather together to participate in a variety of activities. It is usually on the floor in a designated area of the classroom other than desks.

Calendar: It is a good idea to start each day with calendar activities. This builds skills on dates, months, yesterday, today, tomorrow, even and odd, graphing, counting by ones, twos, and fives. See Weblinks on how to incorporate this into your daily routine. A calendar is not used in this lesson. This is just a suggestion to get students familar with it early in the unit.

1. Call students to circle time. Begin the lesson by asking: What are manners? (Manners are how we conduct ourselves. It is your behavior or how you act.) Do we need to use them in school? Discuss why it is important to have rules at school. Discuss the following:

a. We have already talked about the rules and routines, but, for a moment, let’s talk about class communication skills or how we can express our needs, wants and feelings here at school.

b. What are communication skills? Communication is the way information or news is exchanged. It can be written or verbal. We will be doing a tremendous amount of verbal communication this year, so we need to know the proper way to do it.

c. Let’s talk about verbal communication. The word verbal means words spoken from your mouth. It is things like asking permission, asking for help, telling someone to stop bothering you. What are some other ways?

d. There is also non-verbal communication. Those are things like pulling on your teacher’s clothes to get her attention, or waving your arm wildly in the air to get someone’s attention. Students do those kinds of things for a reason, not just because they don’t have good control.

2. Ask the next question: Do class manners have anything to do with communicating? Let’s read this book, [David Goes to School]. (Show the cover, but do not read the title. Cover the text so students will begin to predict.)
a. Ask: What do you see? Where do you think this little boy is?

b. Look on page 8, what is the little boy doing here? How do you know?
Show page 21 and ask: what is the problem here? Has that ever happened to you?

c. Now read the book. Discuss David’s classroom communication skills and manners. Did David do a good job of communicating his wants and needs to his teacher? Talk about David and his good and bad communication skills.

d. On chart paper, make a T-chart and list David’s good manners and bad manners at school. What could he do better?

3. Now introduce and play the Good Manners Pudding Game. Say: See this coffee can? We will play a game with it. Explain: we will sit in a circle and roll the can across the circle to a new friend. The friend will say his or her name and one good manner to communicate at school, and then roll it to a new person. But, before we start, we are going to put instant pudding inside the can and seal it up so that when we roll the can the pudding will be mixing. All the good manners you are saying are mixing up inside the can, too. After every one has had a chance, we will go back to our seats and you can eat the pudding.

4. Play the game. Listen carefully to the manners the students say and reinforce answers with specific praise like: Wow! That is a great manner. I know we will remember to use that one every day. You are on track with that one! I noticed ___using good manners when she waited her turn patiently. I see ___ waiting with his hand up for you to roll the Good Manners can to him. Good job! If a student is off task, some corrective feedback might sound like: Wait a minute, are you using your best classroom manners? What is a better way to get my attention? Thank you, now you are with us. (Make a big deal out of responses that are different than raising hand or waiting to speak.) Formatively assess students. Criteria available in the assessment section.

5. After everyone in the group has had a chance to state a good classroom manner, then have students return to their seats to eat the pudding. (I always mix a batch ahead of time to make sure there is enough.) . Tell students the pudding is full of good manners stated while playing the game, so when they eat it, they should automatically begin to practice those positive behaviors on a daily basis.

6. Pass out baby wipes so students can clean their hands before eating the pudding. Also pass out paper plates and spoons. Give each student a spoon-full of pudding and let the eating begin. This activity should take no more than 10 minutes. Then ask: does your body feel full of good manners to practice? All that good manner pudding is sliding down into your stomach and working its way through your body.

7. To end the lesson, ask students these questions: (Have them show you thumbs up for yes and thumbs down for no. This observation is a formative assessment. Redirect those who show the wrong answer.)

A. Is it appropriate to yell out loud to get your teacher's attention?

B. Is it ok to jump up and down to get your teacher's attention?

C. Would raising your hand before you speak be a good manner?

D. When you want to do something, is it a good idea to crawl on top of your desk?

E. If you bump into a classmate on the way to the bathroom, would “excuse me” be a good thing to say?

F. If your friend falls down while you are playing chase, should you just trample over him or her? Should you laugh?

G. Your friend gives you a pencil to use for the day and you say, “cool dude." Is that appropriate? What should you say?

H. Is it nice to “cut in line”?

I. Would it be ok to come pull on your teacher's dress to ask her a question?

J. If you need to go to the restroom, would “holding yourself” in front of everyone be a good thing?

8. Now say: show your teacher the correct way to answer a question. (Each student should raise his or her hand.) Now show me the correct way to ask your teacher a question. Manners are important and tell a lot about you as a person, so let’s work hard to be the best we can be at school!


The diagnostic assessment should be administered before any instructions are begun. See the Extensions section of this lesson plan for the link to the unit and assessments.

Do a formative assessment by observing students use of positive communication skills when expressing needs, wants, and feelings. Specifically look for student’s answers in activity #4 from the lesson procedures.
For example:
A good manner is raising your hand before you speak.

A good manner would be to wait your turn in line.

Saying “thank you” when some lets you borrow a pencil is a good manner.

Saying “please” when you want something is a good manner.

Holding the door open for someone who has his or her hands full is a good manner.

Following directions is a good manner.

Not talking while the teacher is talking is a good manner.

Formatively assess students' understanding of prior knowledge, illustrations, and text to make predictions. Specifically look for answers in activity #2 as students use pictures and background knowledge to make predictions.
For example:
I see a little boy at school. The chalkboard and eraser are clues that he is at school.

The little boy is yelling out. His mouth is open and the little girl sitting next to him is holding up her hand.

The boy has to go to the bathroom.


1. Write a class book, David Goes To School, with a new twist! Make David do everything right showing his best manners and then the teacher’s response be “Yes, David!”

2. Make a “Beary” Good Manners backpack for students to take home and talk to their families about good manners. Put a stuffed toy bear, spiral notebook, pencils and crayons in a backpack or cloth bag. Explain that the bear does not always have good manners. Ask the class to help teach him to be more polite. Every two days the backpack will go home with a different student. While the bear is in the home, the student should think of a good manner to teach the bear, such as sharing, waiting your turn, or raising your hand to speak etc. The notebook is the bear’s journal. During the bear's stay at the student’s house, the student (with the parents' help) makes journal entries to describe what the bear was taught. The journal entry should include what you taught the bear, as well as how the bear spent the day. The students may include pictures and photos of the bear’s activities. Read the journal entries at the beginning of each day’s lesson in the All About Me unit as a good way to teach manners.

3. Tie together how communication skills, rules and manners are related and go hand-in-hand.

4. The Beacon Unit Plan associated with this lesson can be viewed by clicking on the link located at the top of this page or by using the following URL: Once you select the unit’s link, scroll to the bottom of the unit plan page to find the section, Associated Files. This section contains links to the Unit Plan Overview, Diagnostic and Summative Assessments, and other associated files (if any).

5. (Optional) Included in the Unit Plan links are the standards for the All About Me Unit and how to integrate the Bay County Six Blocks reading frameworks. (See above link.)

Web Links

This site is a search of all public school media centers for specific books and media materials. Use this site to locate the materials needed for this lesson.

Here is a Student Web Lesson on calendars.
It's A Date

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