Social Stories on Manners

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

Teaching social skills such as manners can be time-consuming. In this lesson you will find a few examples of social stories that can be used to teach students about manners.

Mind Your Manners!

Teaching children to be polite and have good manners can be a challenge. For children with social and cognitive disabilities, manners can be particularly confusing. Social stories explain social situations and expectations using simple scenarios. Here are some sample social stories about manners.

Why Are Manners Important?

Mom is always telling me to mind my manners. What are manners and why do I need them? Mom says manners are a way to be polite. Being polite means behaving in a way that is respectful to other people.

How can I be polite and respectful of other people? I should think about how my words and actions make people feel.

How does Dad feel when I whine and beg for something? He probably likes it better when I say ''please'' and ''thank you.''

How does my brother feel when I shove him out of the way? He might like it better if I stopped and said ''excuse me'' and waited for him to move.

How does Grandma feel at dinner when I reach over her to grab more potatoes? She would probably like it better if I asked nicely.

I should learn manners because other people will enjoy being around me when I am polite. I like it when people are polite to me, so I should be polite to other people, too.

Magic Words

One part of being polite is using special words. My grandma calls them 'magic words'. Magic words turn a rude statement into a polite one.

The first magic word is ''please.'' It is a polite way to ask for something. If I'm working on a project at school and I want someone to hand me the glue, it would be rude for me to say, ''Give me that glue!'' Instead, I should be polite and say, ''May I have the glue, please?''

The next magic word is ''thank you'' or ''thanks.'' You say ''thank you'' if someone gives you something or does something for you. When Dad says it's time to leave when we're at the park, it would be rude to say, ''Why can't we stay longer? '' Instead, I should say, ''Thank you for taking me to the park! ''

Another magic word is ''you're welcome.'' You say it after someone tells you ''thank you.'' My brother tells me ''thank you'' for sharing my fruit snacks with him. I could be rude and say, ''You're lucky I'm in a good mood and shared with you.'' I should just say, ''You're welcome.''

''Excuse me'' is a magic word that has a few different uses. First of all, you should say ''excuse me'' after you burp, sneeze or cough in public. Next, you should say ''excuse me'' if you need to get past someone. If I am trying to go through the hall but my sister Emma is standing in the way, I should not be rude and say, ''Get out of my way!'' I should just say, '' Excuse me, Emma.''

You should also say ''excuse me'' if you want to get someone's attention. This is how I get my mom's attention when she is watching TV. I used to be rude and say, ''Hey, mom!'' Now I know to be polite and say, ''Excuse me, mom.''

I try to be polite, so I use my magic words: ''please, '' ''thank you, '' ''you're welcome'' and ''excuse me. '' I think people like when I use these words!

Table Manners

Tonight at dinner, I practice using good manners.

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