Books that teach manners cover

4 Great Books About Manners

Books that teach manners cover

Using books about manners is a fantastic way to help children and adolescents develop and maintain appropriate social skills. Books about manners can be used to introduce different types of manners, establish expectations, and discuss appropriate/inappropriate behavior(s).

Here are a few of my favorite books about manners:

Manners by Aliki

manners_aliki elementary counseling

Why I like this book about manners:

I really like how each page contains enough information to cover a topic, making it easy to use the book for several mini-lesson. My little ones have a difficult time making it through a whole picture book and my older students are much more receptive when the instructional part of our session doesn’t last longer than needed. Since we only need to spend a few minutes on a page, we are able to use the majority of the time applying the lesson to their world.

The illustrations are timeless…simple enough for my younger students but goofy/gross enough to engage my older students.

Topics Covered:

  • What are manners
  • Why we have to learn manners
  • Greetings
  • Not hurting other people’s feelings
  • Interrupting
  • Saying sorry
  • Not wrecking other people’s things (like sand castles)
  • Grabbing objects
  • Being too loud
  • Being hygienic (picking nose, finger in ear, scratching head, wiping nose with your sleeve, sticking fingers in your mouth, not covering your mouth when you cough/sneeze, rubbing your eyes, and licking boogers off your upper lip <- oh yeah, they went there 😉 )
  • Birthday party etiquette
  • Gossip and whispering
  • Accepting imperfections
  • Excluding others
  • Dinner table
  • Telephone (what to do when it’s a wrong number and reciprocal conversation)
  • Riding public transportation
  • Helping others
  • Saying “pardon” and “excuse me”
  • Sleep-overs
  • Waiting to go after someone – at the table, at the door, in a conversation, in a line
  • Writing thank you notes

Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners by Laurie Keller

Do onto otters elementary counselor behavior management

Why I like this book about manners:

The illustrations and playful presentation really draw my students into the content of the book.

If you are at a world language or an International Baccalaureate school like me, you will appreciate the pages that teach students how to say please, excuse me, thank you in five different languages. <- These pages would make excellent posters!

Topics Covered:

  • Meeting others
  • Being friendly
  • Being polite (please, thank you, excuse me)
  • Honesty
  • Thinking about others/being considerate
  • Being kind/not hurting feelings
  • Cooperate *bad pun WARNING: “We know how to co-OTTER-ate!” 😉
  • Playing fair
  • Sharing
  • Teasing
  • Apologizing
  • Forgiving
  • Accepting others who are different

Dude, That’s Rude! (Get Some Manners) by Pamela Espeland & Elizabeth Verdick

Dude_Thats_Rude elementary counseling behavior management

I absolutely love Free Spirit Publishing’s Laugh & Learn series for my older students. I usually use this book with students in 4th grade and above, although I have used it with a 3rd grader who had advanced reading skills.

Why I like this book about manners:

This book is written with the voice of (what I imagine) an older sibling parting wisdom to their wayward younger brother or sister. The information comes across more as a “heads up” than as a chastising.

I like giving having students read a (predetermined) selection and then have them write down (or draw) the three most helpful/useful bits of information. After we have read the whole book they have a mini-book of the highlights.

I used this book during my unit on informational text and persuasive writing when I taught a self-contained classroom for students with emotional impairments. My students found the information interesting and as one student put it, “This is actually stuff you can use in real life.”

If you have a child/student that is oppositional, try telling them that you have noticed that they have been being kind to some of the other students and you would like to get their opinion on a new book you would like to use with other students. (<-Works wonders in a lot of different behavior training situations.)

Topics Covered:

  • Manners: Who Cares
  • Power words
  • In the house
  • Body manners
  • Potty manners
  • Meeting & greeting
  • Hosting & guesting
  • Gifting & getting
  • Word-y manners
  • Phone-y manners
  • Class-y manners
  • Online manners
  • Public manners
  • 10 steps to amazing manners

A Smart Girls Guide to Manners by Nancy Holyoke

smart girls guide to manners elementary counseling behavior management

If you are not familiar with the American Girl books (the self-help ones, not the doll themed ones), you and your students are missing out.

Why I like this book about manners:

My female students respond really well to the American Girl series, and The Girl’s Guide to Manners is no exception. The content is presented in a fun, easy to follow format that sparks excellent conversations.

I also like how the book is formatted so one or two pages that can be used in a mini-lesson or chunked together for a more comprehensive lesson/session.

Topics covered:

  • Good impressions
  • Respect
  • Meeting others
  • Conversations
  • Gossip
  • Being online
  • Telephone basics
  • Cell phones
  • Hosts and guests
  • Gifts
  • Eating
  • Table manners
  • Problem foods
  • Neighborhoods
  • Malls
  • Movies
  • Being a good sport
  • Sticky situations
  • Family gatherings
  • Weddings
  • Funerals

So what do you think?

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Best Wishes ~Heather

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2 responses to “4 Great Books About Manners”

  1. Lisa Eichlin Avatar

    Hi, I saw you on Pintrest and wanted to tell you about another book about social skills. The Bravest Boy I Ever Knew, is the story about a boy named Michael and his best friend who is disabled. In this story Michael tells about the things his friend CAN do, not what he can’t . This book teaches a great lesson about friendship and acceptance. Check it out if you have a chance!

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