Pamela Gordon
Social Studies
Material Type:
Lower Primary
  • GEDB
  • Global Education
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs

    Comparing Table Manners Around The World


    Students will identify and share different table manners and understand that they will be considered acceptable and appropriate depending on the culture you are looking at. Students will collaborate and share their own customs and table manners in their families.

    * This lesson was developed by Sandra Bays as part of their completion of the North Carolina Global Educator Digital Badge program. This lesson plan has been vetted at the local and state level for standards alignment, Global Education focus, and content accuracy.  
    * This is an adaptation from Pamela Gordon. 



    Students will identify and share different table manners that are deemed acceptable and appropriate. Students will collaborate and share their own customs and table manners in their families.


    Student Engagement/Motivation

    Teacher will ask- "What does it mean to have good table manners?" and will create a circle map to capture student responses.  If students are unable to think of anything, the teacher can ask the following questions.

    • Is it good manners to talk with your mouth full?
    • Is it good manners to put your elbows on the table?
    • Is it good manners to talk on your phone or play video games while you are at the table?

    Learning Targets and Criteria for Success

    Learning Targets

    • I can identify good table manners.
    • I can create a circle map about good table manners.


    Criteria for Success

    • I will join in group coversation about table manners.
    • I will be able to contribute to the list of good and bad table manners by providing ideas to include on the circle map.
    • l will be able to write one important table manner.


    • Chart paper
    • Marker
    • Table Manners quiz
    • Table Talk: A Book About Table Manners by Julia Cook
    • Paper for student writing

    Learning Tasks and Practice

    • Teacher will start a discussion on what table manners are and the importance of table manners.  The teacher can share some of the things he/she does to show good table manners.
    • Teacher will ask- "What does it mean to have good table manners?" 
    • Students will collaborate and contribute to the discussion of table manners in their families to help the teacher create a circle map of good manners. A circle map is a type of thinking map that identifies the topic in the center of a smaller cirlce and has ideas listed all around in the larger circle. To complete the circle map, the teacher will write the topic (Good Table Manners) in the center of the chart paper and draw a small circle around it.  The teacher will draw a larger circle that covers the entire chart paper and will add the comments students share inside of the larger circle.  For more examples of a circle map teachers can use their school's teacher resources or online resources.
    • After whole group discussion, students will complete the Table Manners quiz. The teacher will read aloud each question and the answer choices.  The teacher will ask students to circle the best answer.  The teacher will collect the quizes and use them in Lesson 3.
    • Teacher will read aloud Table Talk: A Book About Table Manners by Julia Cook.  The book is told from the point of view of the table and allows for great conversation about good table manners. The teacher will pause at each suggestion throughout the book to discuss the lesson being taught.  The teacher can ask why each suggestion made by the table may be important.  (An example is not eating until everyone has been served. The teacher can ask a student to share why this may be an important table manner.)  
    • Teacher will close lesson by having students write down what they consider to be important table manners and take them home to share with their families.

    Collecting and Documenting Evidence of Learning

    • Student input for circle map.
    • Student writing piece sharing most important rule.

    Extended Learning Opportunities

    Students will be encouraged to share their most important manner writing with their family and discuss their ideas on table manners.

    Teacher Reflection of Learning

    This was a great introduction to create a base understanding of what students know of table manners and to recognize the differences within our own class.  It is set up perfectly for the next day to begin discussing how manners vary based on one's culture and heritage background.

    After researching and listening to read alouds about eating at the table (dinner, lunch, breakfast) around the world, students will recognize different ways in which "good manners" are understood and how different cultures have different ways of understanding "good manners".