If you are interested in learning how to teach a child how to greet someone the Montessori way, this article is for you.
Today, I’ll go over how to teach a child the proper way to greet someone, as well as say goodbye to someone.
This is a great activity for morning circle if you are in a childcare or school setting.
This lesson can also be introduced to a single child, as long as you have someone to assist you in role-playing.
Greeting someone in Montessori
Greeting someone is an important lesson in Montessori.
The morning greetings between teacher and child help to set the tone for the day – one of mutual respect and caring.
In Montessori, teaching children to greet someone is classified as a Grace and Courtesy lesson, an activity of Practical Life.
Knowing how to courteously say hello and goodbye to people extends well beyond a child’s exchanges with their teacher, though.
This is a skill that can help children more confidently enter and manage a variety of social situations throughout their days.
The lessons I’ve put below exhibit North American customs.
You, of course, should modify these lessons to suit your own geographic location and culture.
After the child is familiar with how to greet someone in their culture, you can introduce lessons on how other cultures greet each other.
It’s important for children to learn that there are many ways that people greet each other across the globe.
What is considered polite in one country could be considered inappropriate in another.
In Montessori, children learn that every culture’s customs are to be appreciated.
How to greet someone the Montessori way – The lessons
- Let the child(ren) know that you are going to show them how to greet people.
- Ask someone to role-play with you a greeting.
- Have the actor leave the room and then come back in.
- As the actor re-enters the room, look them in the eyes, smile, and reach your right hand out for a handshake. (If the person role-playing with you is a child, be sure to kneel down to their level.)
- Have the actor extend their hand for a handshake, as well.
- Say to the actor, “Good morning, John. How are you today?”.
- Have the actor say, “I’m good, thank you. How are you?”.
- Respond by saying, “Very well, thank you. We are going to have a great day today.” (You can exchange this with another pleasantry.)
- Let the child(ren) know that this is one example of how to greet someone, then have the child(ren) practice with you.
- Let the child(ren) know that you are going to show them how to say goodbye to someone.
- Ask someone to role-play with you a departure.
- Ask the actor to walk toward the door.
- As the actor approaches the room’s exit, make eye contact and reach out with your right hand for a handshake and have them do the same.
- While you are shaking hands with each other, “Have a good afternoon. I had a lot of fun with you today”.
- Have the actor say, “Goodbye. Have a good afternoon.”
- Respond by saying, “Thank you, you too. I will see you tomorrow.”
- Let the child(ren) know that this is one example of how to say goodbye to someone, then have the child(ren) practice with you.
There you have it – how you teach a child to greet someone in Montessori.
You can introduce these lessons as young as 2.5 or 3 years old.
Children enjoy these Grace and Courtesy role-playing lessons and they benefit from them in many different ways.
Teaching a child how to courteously greet someone helps them develop self-esteem, independence, and a better awareness of others.
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