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Wheaton Montessori News

Lunchtime Language

Categories: Elementary Program / General Knowledge Fund / Grace and Courtesy

“Gross!  What are you EATING?”  

“Ugh.  Peppers?  I would NEVER eat that.” 

“Peanut butter-banana-salami-raisin-on-rice cakes? I don’t want to eat THAT.” 

To be honest, not many people would… but do you SHARE that information with your table mate who happens to find it delicious?


Being courteous at mealtimes is one of the many lessons learned by students as they sit down to enjoy lunch together.  With such a diverse school community and students bringing their own lunches, culinary conversation topics are plentiful.  Our students learn from an early age what a wide variety of flavors our world can offer – and how to be polite if a particular dish doesn’t look like your “cup of tea.”


This year, our school is focusing on one of the staples of an authentic Montessori education: Grace and Courtesy.  It’s not *just* saying “please” and “thank you.”  It’s how to navigate life in a way that both offers and earns courtesy and respect from your peers.


Today our Elementary class had a fun but extremely useful lesson: How to act at a meal when your friend’s meal is unfamiliar to you.  There were lots of laughs and several helpful tips from both teachers and classmates! Be sure to look closely at the students’ expressions: did you enjoy group lessons as much as they do?

In a Grace and Courtesy lesson, the teacher (here, Mrs. Fortun) will model a particular behavior with the help of one or several students.  In Primary classrooms, the teacher is always role modeling the desired behavior.  With Primary students in the “Absorbent Mind” plane, we always want to model what we WANT as a behavior.  In Elementary, humor can go a long way in a lesson and the presenters dive into their roles!

Chances are that when you come in for your classroom observation, you’ll see one or several of these short lessons in progress.  What are some of the ways your family focuses on Grace and Courtesy at home?