Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Teaching Manners with Table Setting

table setting
Table setting provides practical life experience.
Table Setting as a Practical Life Project

We recently completed a table manners unit as part of our practical life lessons. If you don't remember how to set a table don't panic, I am posting pictures of the basics from a 1950's cookbook that lays out directions in black and white. You can pick one up at your local library and it will likely have the same information as it was proper etiquette at the time.

The great thing about this older cookbook was that it didn't just have instructions for one dinner table but how to set a table for lunch, brunch, buffet, dinner for two, tea and a formal dinner. It even gave details as to what utensils to use and foods to serve. So we made it our project to practice every setting by the end of the week.

We started with a lunch table. This is what most people use for a casual week night "supper" minus the fancy place mats, ours plastic with Elmo.

lunch setting
Casual Lunch Table
 We also set a formal lunch table which I don't have pictures of and then below you will see our formal dinner table. I'm going to explain the details of setting below. We had so much fun cooking a four course meal and enjoying it together.

formal dinner setting
Formal Dinner Table
Table Setting Basics

In both pictures you can see a small plate, that is a bread plate. On the casual table the bread plate is on the left allowing room for a coffee cup on the right. On the formal dinner table the bread plate is on the right allowing for a water or wine glass on the left. Flatware works in from the outside in and plates and bowls are stacked in the order they will be used. So then, salad fork is used first, it is furthest out, spoon is used to stir coffee...you get the picture. There is one mistake in the picture above. Can you find it? The butter knife on the far right is turned in rather than out.

This lesson would go great with A Day in Paris Mini Unit Study.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Unit Study.

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How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day, and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I didn't consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I'm normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. We succeed in changing some of our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming. You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

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