|Reviewers Comments: ||Family Meal Time: We Have Table Manners Because We Love the Company teaching kit is a classroom style lesson plan for children ages 4-10 (PreK – 5th graders). The teaching kit is designed to teach children proper table manners when eating a meal. There are many opportunities for children to participate in a physical activity throughout the session while reinforcing the concept of good table manners. The objective is to teach children table manners, politeness, how to set a table and the importance of eating family meals. There is no nutritional information presented in this teaching kit, no prior knowledge of nutrition is required of the SNAP-Ed provider. This resource may be useful for teaching the importance of family meal time and proper table manners. The complete teaching kit includes:
- We Have Table Manners Lesson Plan
- Table Manners BINGO Game
- We Love the Company Book with Music CD
- A reproducible Master CD which includes PDF files for activities, bulletin board projects, a family newsletter, iron-on placemats and a PDF file of reproducible table manner stickers
The lesson plan is appropriate for the targeted age group. The information presented is research-based and current. The interactive activities for the children are easy to understand and perform. However, some of the activities are contradictory to the lessons that are taught in the accompanying book We Love the Company . This teaching kit is appropriate for low-income audiences. There is no jargon or technical terms and it is easy to follow. Background information is provided for the SNAP-Ed provider and evidenced-based examples of the benefits of family meal time are included. Multiple activities are included which will allow the educator to modify the lesson plan to fit any timeline. Each material can be used independently of each other. There are handouts for the activities which are included on the Master CD which can be printed by the educators. The instruction manual is often hard to follow since there is no table of contents in the beginning and very little contrasting text size or color throughout the manual.
The book We Love the Company , a story about table manners introduces the concept of good table manners using rhyming lyrics and a diverse group of young children using active voice throughout. The Music CD reinforces the concept of good table manners through both a song version and an audio reading of the book. The Music CD also includes a song to play in the background during several of the activities which allow the children to move and play between seated activities. Several of the seated activities reinforce the concepts of eating family meals, politeness and proper table setting. The Table Manners BINGO cards reinforce the ideas taught by allowing the children to demonstrate good table manners in Table Manner Charades.
Family members are able to participate with children during the Table Manners Family Day! Activity. The children are given a chance to demonstrate what they have learned while sharing a snack with family and friends. A newsletter is available on a Master CD for the SNAP-Ed provider to print and send home with the children. The recipes included with the lesson plan and newsletter are compatible with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Each recipe includes the Nutrition Facts Panel, serving size, recipe yield, price per recipe and price per serving. The recipes in the take-home newsletter are less than $5 to prepare. The recipes use ingredients which are readily available, easy to find and low-cost. The suggested recipes for snack time in the lesson plan are more costly than the newsletter recipes.
The kit includes a PDF template of “I Have Great Table Manners” labels which require the educator to print the labels onto sticker labels which are not included in the kit. In addition, the Table Manners Table Cloth activity requires the educator to print the tablecloth template onto transfer paper using a color printer and then iron the transfer onto a table cloth. This activity requires the educator to purchase transfer paper and a table cloth since neither is included with the kit. Both of these activities for the educator can be costly and difficult for those not familiar with using the techniques.
Additional materials needed for this lesson plan: napkins, color printer, table cloth, transfer paper, color crayons or markers, colored paper, white school glue, plastic forks, knives and spoons, 6 ¾ “ paper plate, 3 oz paper cup, camera, sticker labels
Optional item: pre-cut pictures of food from magazines
This teaching kit is a good resource for teaching children about table manners and proper table setting. The lesson plan can be adapted and modified depending on the age of the target audience and the allotted time.