“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians13:4-7
Paper, pencils, scrap paper for message pads, hole punch, yarn, table settings.
OPENING: Form two teams and have them line up against opposite walls. Give each team sheets of paper and pencils. Have them write on each sheet, names kids call each other–nothing vulgar. When they’re finished, designate a line down the middle of the room. On “go,” have the kids wad up their papers and bombard the other team with the papers without crossing the line. Call time after several minutes and ask them: “How did it feel to be bombarded with paper wads? How would it have felt if those paper wads would have been actual names spoken and not just written on paper?
BIBLE DISCOVERY: Read I Corinthians 13:5 aloud. Love shows good manners. Ask the kids if it is good manners to call people names. Why or why not? What are some other examples of good manners? Why are manners important to God?
Give each child another sheet of paper. As you read situations that require manners, tell the children to write down what they would do in that situation. Talk about their responses. Here are suggested situations (The correct answers are underlined):
1. A friend wears an outfit that others laugh at, you: (a) laugh; (b) ignore the friend; (c) point out something good about the outfit.
2. Someone calls while your mom is in the bathroom. You: (a) tell the caller where your mom is; (b) say your mom is busy and take a phone message; (c) tell the caller to call back later but you don’t take down their name or number.
3. At a friends’s house for dinner you drop a pea into the carpet. You: (a) pick it up with your napkin; (b) grind it into the carpet;
(c) call the dog over to eat it.
4. In a restaurant you have a piece of pork chop stuck in your teeth. You: (a) try to dig it out with your fingernail, (b) excuse yourself and remove it in the bathroom; (c) loudly try to suck the meat out of your teeth. ACTIVITY: You need good manners in almost every area of your life. Let’s make something that will help you practice “good manners” at home. From scrap paper, have kids each make a phone message pad for their home. Have kids cut paper to an equal size, stack it and punch two holes through the top of the stack. Then have them thread yarn through the holes and tie it in a bow.
SNACK: Have the kids sit at tables and imagine they are in a restaurant. Serve (from the left) dishes of ice cream, spoons and napkins. Encourage kids to “coach” each other about appropriate table manners. CONCLUSION: Encourage children to use good manners every day of their life not only during a class on manners. People with good manners are the people who have friends, get good jobs and have happy relationships with other people.
Ask for volunteers to role play situations that require manners. One at a time, have the volunteers role play these situations: someone cuts in line at the drinking fountain in the hall at church; in music class, there aren’t enough books for everyone; you break a neighbors window while playing baseball; there is a new person in your class who is really shy. Have the kids call out possible ways they could deal with these situations and others. Continue with the role-play situations until time runs out. Then, conclude with prayer.