dining etiquette activity family consumer sciences home economics

Dining Etiquette Activity | Three-day Family and Consumer Sciences Lesson Plan

November 18, 2019 No Comments

My Junior Foods students recently enjoyed an etiquette meal. Today I’m sharing my three-day plan so your students can enjoy one too.

Here’s how our lesson plan worked:

Day 1: Etiquette breakout and place setting

Day 2: Prepare biscuits and finish place setting

Day 3: Bake biscuits, set table, and eat!

Day 1

Students start by doing the etiquette breakout game from FamilyConsumerSciences.com that I digitized. This takes them about a half-hour working in pairs.

Then I write the menu for our etiquette meal on the board and ask the students to set a table for it. Our menu is:

  • Water
  • Cheesy Quick Biscuits
  • Tomato Soup
  • Chicken
  • Rice

As the kids “set the table” with the dishes and cutlery I have available, I have them ask me to check them when they are done. Initially I just answer “yes” and “no.” As kids get closer I give more direct feedback. When students finally have the place setting correct I have them help me check others until everyone is done.

Then students trace or draw the place setting onto a large sheet of paper. They decorate the paper and setting with some kind of theme. They are required to have the entire paper covered with design, no pencil marks, and bright colors.

Day 2

On Day 2, students prepare their biscuits:

Cheesy Quick Biscuits

This is so they are fresh on the day they eat them. They could be much quicker if I didn’t divide the recipe between two days :). They spend the remaining time working on their place settings.

On a side note- These are the bowls I have in my classroom and I love them! They are great for covering and refrigerating. I also keep 8-Cup Pyrex measuring bowls in case students need to put them in the microwave.

Day 3

This is the big day! To start the morning I prepare a very simple chicken and rice dish. I want them to have some kind of meat to practice eating and some kind of side. This is the recipe I used because it was easy to prepare ahead of time. I used chicken breasts instead of pork because they were on sale. I cut three breasts up into five pieces each but used the same amount of soup and rice. Again, the students were only getting a taste, as this was not a replacement for lunch. This was to serve 14 students.

The chicken and rice took an hour and a half to bake, but it was easy to toss in and think about later. I prepared the tomato soup as the students were baking their biscuits. Yes, it was just from a can. The learning experience, in this case, was just to eat soup with good etiquette. A more advanced class with more time could prepare something more healthy.

Students prepare their kitchens and bake their biscuits. As the biscuits are baking, they set their placemat with the proper plates and utensils. When the biscuits are done, they place them on the table, approach their seat from the left, and eat!

It’s not a perfect setup, as I need their help to clear dishes after each course. But the kids really enjoy it and use a lot of “Ma’am” and “Sir.” Their “polite” dinner conversation is very funny to overhear. They can really struggle with topics to talk about!

dining etiquette activity family consumer sciences home economics

I got a shout-out on my school’s Facebook page! It didn’t even occur to me that this meal coincided with holidays coming up. This three-day plan would be a great way to fill the three days before Thanksgiving break.


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I’m Kayla Pins – Health and Family and Consumer Sciences teacher to high school students in rural Iowa. Welcome to my online home where I share lesson plans, activities, and inspiration with fellow teachers.


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