Have Fun With Clifford the Big Red Dog Learning About Manners
Lesson Plan Overview and Objectives
Clifford the Big Red Dog is learning to use good manners during his daily activities. Good news is, so are the kids. These etiquette lessons are easily taught with a story and interactive Clifford learning activities.
The educational objectives are:
- Learning through literature
- Introducing social skills like etiquette
- Improving personal interactions and fostering goodwill
- Encouraging family and community relationships
Character education is a key part of early childhood education. Teaching good character traits helps classroom management, builds social skills, and fosters good interpersonal relations.
Learning Manners Supply List
The pre-class preparation for this lesson is simple; just make flashcards with words describing different types of manners. The following supplies are needed:
- Clifford’s Manners, Norman Bridwell, [Scholastic Inc., 1987]
- Flashcards for these concepts: please, thank you, do not litter, excuse me, share, clean up, obey rules, good sportsmanship, be on time, shake hands, wash hands, good-bye, use a tissue
- C is for Courteous activity sheet
Before reading the story, ask the kids what they think good manners are. As the children share their ideas, write their answers on the board. Ask them if they have heard of the word etiquette, and if they understand its meaning. Explain manners and etiquette to the class.
Teaching about Manners
Show the book to the class, point to title, say the words, and trace the words with a finger. Repeat with the author’s name. This book features illustrations of Clifford the Big Red Dog using his manners with little printed text. It's easy to show each page to the class, and ask them to predict what is happening. Ask them how they could imitate Clifford’s manners.
Clifford Learning Activities
Shuffle the flashcards and place them face down on a table. Let the kids take turns drawing cards, and performing these actions:
- Read the word
- Trace the letters with a finger
- Identify the first letter of the word, and say the letter name
- Act out the appropriate good manners for the word
When using these activities with preschoolers, teachers read the word and let the children repeat.
Next, give each student a copy of the activity sheet. Define the word courteous for the class and invite them to talk about ways to be courteous. Let them decorate the coloring page while praising their efforts and asking open-ended questions. Send the activity sheets home to extend the lesson.
Lesson Extension and Book List
Extend the lesson by asking parents to encourage their children to use good manners. Another easy way to reinforce the lesson is by choosing one good manner skill each week and focusing on developing it. For instance, one week could be do not litter week, while another could be share with others week. For more lesson plans about Clifford, please read "Clifford the Big Red Dog Learning ABC's and Vocabulary."
Here is a list of books on good manners and etiquette to extend the teaching that can be used by teachers or parents.
What do you Know About Manners? A Funny Quiz for Kids, Cynthia MacGregor, [San Val, 2000]
Manners can be Fun, Munro Leaf, [Universe, 2004]
Dude, That’s Rude, Pamela Espeland, [Free Spirit Publishing, 2007]
Image, Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain