Etiquette Luncheon for 8th Grade

The Winter Olympics begin, our 8th grade students found a new way to participate: a classroom etiquette competition!

As part of the 8th grade fall curriculum, Sr. Mara Rose coordinates a special unit on etiquette. Students watch videos, listen to lectures and practice to improve their manners. In light of the Olympic events, Sister created a fun Olympics-themed competition for the students to practice proper etiquette, including how to shake hands, engage in face-to-face conversation and enhance their listening skills. They competed with each other to improve these communication skills, with all eyes on the grand prize: winner would earn the privilege of redesigning the 8th grade lunchtime seating chart!

The Dominican Sisters believe these skills to be critical for our students’ future success. “As the digital age continues to change our social setting, conversation skills are losing ground,” commented Sr. Mara Rose. “But such an important part of being human is knowing how to communicate with others without the medium of a digital device. Whether the interaction takes place in a work environment, educational institution or with family and friends, everyone needs effective communication skills to understand others and be understood by them.”

The etiquette unit also includes lessons in dining etiquette: which fork to use, how to use a napkin, the order of events at a dinner party and similar skills. “And of course,” said Sister, “it’s always fun to watch the young men try to help the young ladies with their chairs!”

The highlight of the class is the final unit: mastering a formal dinner. Sister and Mrs. McWhorter created the menu and with help from parents, prepared a homemade meal of creamy tomato soup, yeast rolls, chicken kiev, fancy macaroni and cheese, and roasted vegetable medley. The lunch also included a simple balsamic vinaigrette salad, plus homemade cream puffs and hot chocolate with homemade marshmallow cream. In addition, there was a homemade fruit tea drink. Faculty and staff attended the dinner with the students, scattered in seats as “heads of table” to help facilitate discussion and ensure the students practice their new skills. Sister received both glowing praise and amusing tales from the adults for her students’ skills and luncheon experiences, as a great time was had by all attendees.

Eighth grader Theresa Catimbang reflected on her experience. “”I learned to be more respectful, proper and more comfortable with adults. We don’t often have time for deeper conversations with our friends, so it was enjoyable to have this experience at our luncheon.”

February 7, 2018 by Austin Farinholt in Study

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