This teacher inquiry project describes how one first grade teacher learned to use coached language supports to improve children’s self-control and cooperation. Courtesy scripts were created in the process. The development of courtesy scripts and their application in early elementary classrooms is presented. Courtesy scripts are specific phrases explicitly taught (I do, we do, you do), reinforced, and used in conversations by both the speaker and listener. Children learned how to make requests while also honoring the needs of others. Use of these pragmatic language supports helped to create a peaceful classroom community. A practical method for teaching courteous language patterns to young children is described by presenting scripts that can be easily adopted or modified by teachers. Scripts for peer requests and for sharing are provided as examples. The courtesy scripts method may be of interest to scholars studying the relationship between language usage and prosocial behavior in early childhood settings. Teacher educators may also be interested in the method when providing professional development related to social, emotional and character development or when teaching classroom management.

Author Biography

Michael Haslip, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of early childhood education at Drexel University. His research investigates how to develop the character strengths of teachers and children. He also explores how early childhood teachers can use positive guidance strategies to improve children’s social-emotional learning and teacher-child relationships. He is a former first and second-grade teacher.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.