Preschool students are at an age when they are expected to know some basic social conventions, such as saying hello when greeting people and goodbye when leaving. Incorporate a variety of activities involving saying hellos and goodbyes into the preschool schedule to teach children about these words.
One of the best ways to include hello and goodbye activities during the preschool day is to sing songs at circle time. For the beginning of the day, choose a song that includes saying "hello" to each student in the class. For example, one song says, "Hello everybody, so glad to see you!" and repeats the line with each child's name substituted for "everybody" until all children have been greeted. Choose a song that includes "goodbye" to sing together just before the children leave for the day.
Before kids know much about saying hello and goodbye, it helps them to see others use the words. One way to do this is for the teacher to put on a puppet show where the characters greet each other, have a short conversation and say goodbye. To test their learning, see if kids can put on puppet shows as well. One child can act out two different characters or, for older kids, each child can be in charge of speaking for one character.
Reinforce the lessons about hello and goodbye by modeling polite behavior. Greet each person who enters the room with a "hello" and say "goodbye" when anybody is leaving. Encourage kids to respond with a "hello" or "goodbye" of their own. Send a note home to parents asking them to do the same thing at home to support your lessons during preschool time.
Preschoolers can learn simple phrases for "hello" and "goodbye" in several languages. For example, teach hola and adiós for Spanish, bonjour and au revoir for French, and ciao and arrivederci in Italian. To keep the kids from getting confused, introduce only one new language at a time and use it for at least one week, or until they know the phrases well. Incorporate the words into daily conversation, such as greeting each child with "hello" in the language of the week when entering the classroom and "goodbye" in that language when leaving.
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