Ethos Education

The Boxtrolls: Etiquette

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Assembly Objective:

  • Since what is polite in one home may be rude in another, how can we best show respect to all people? The Bible teaches that treating people with respect comes from the attitude of our hearts.

Film:

  • The Boxtrolls (Focus Features, 2014, certificate PG) Click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible:

Supporting Values Education:

  • We live in a Democracy that has an agreed Rule of Law. But that doesn’t mean that everyone always behaves in the same way in every aspect of their lives. Showing Respect and Tolerance means valuing and accepting different people’s habits and customs.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Dinnertime (drama)

  • Invite a group of three children up to the front and sit them around a table [they can stand as if around a table if a table would be impractical]. Have them act out various mealtime social etiquettes. You could give them chopsticks and an item of food to pick up, and demonstrate the do’s and don’ts of this utensil.
  • Or, you could give them a list of conflicting customs to act out, such as:
    • In Africa, it’s polite to eat with your right hand only.
    • In Chile, it is rude to eat anything with your hands.
    • In Thailand, it is rude to eat from a fork – the polite thing to do is use a fork to put food onto a spoon.
    • In South Korea, it’s polite to wait until the oldest person has started eating. If someone offers you a drink, it’s polite to take it with both hands.
    • In India, it’s polite to finish everything on your plate.
    • In Egypt, it’s polite to leave some food to show that you’ve been given more than enough.
    • In Italy, it is rude to ask for extra cheese.
    • In Japan, you’re allowed to loudly slurp noodles and soup.
    • In China, burping shows you have been well fed.

Reason for rules (creative thinking)

  • Invite the pupils to explain the reasons for rules.
  • Why make rules in the first place? What are they really there for?
  • It might be helpful to apply this specifically to the rules of the classroom, so that you can say with authority the reason behind each rule.

FILM CLIP 

  • The Boxtrolls (Focus Features, 2014, certificate PG).
    • Start time: 50:25 (in chapter 11)
    • End time: 53:42
    • Clip length: 3 minutes and 17 seconds
  • The clip begins when Winnifred (Elle Fanning) says, ‘You look like a proper boy.’ The clip ends after Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) spits out his cheese in order to make use of a plate and fork.
  • If you cannot play the clip, say:
    • Winnifred has dressed Eggs in the right clothes for a human party. But, she soon realises that he’ll need to learn a few things before he can blend in at the party. She teaches him to greet people. But, after she is whisked away, Eggs find the food. He eats a bug, scoffs handfuls of cheese and then spits it all out when he realises that he should have used a fork and plate.

TALK

Download the Boxtrolls Assembly PowerPoint for use with this talk.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Do you have any dinnertime rules at home? [Take examples, pointing out the fact that there are differences between households.] Different homes have different rules because every family is different. But, generally, we all understand what it means to be polite at dinnertime and what it means to be rude.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • We’re going to have a look at dinnertime rules around the world now. Can anyone give me an example of something that people tend to do in another country at dinnertime that we don’t tend to do here? [Take suggestions.] Here are some more:
      • Did you know that in Africa, it’s polite to eat with your right hand only? Or that in Chile, it is rude to eat anything with your hands? In Thailand, it is rude to eat from a fork – the polite thing to do is use a fork to put food onto a spoon.
      • In South Korea, it’s polite to wait until the oldest person has started eating. If someone offers you a drink, it’s polite to take it with both hands.
      • In India, it’s polite to finish everything on your plate. In Egypt, it’s polite to leave some food to show that you’ve been given more than enough. In Italy, it is rude to ask for extra cheese.
      • In Japan, you’re allowed to loudly slurp noodles and soup. In China, burping shows you have been well fed.
    • So, being polite in other parts of the world might look very different to being polite here.
    • We’re about to watch a film clip about a boy named Eggs, who has been brought up by creatures called Boxtrolls. He lives underground, he wears a box and he only comes above ground at night to steal gadgets. A girl called Winnifred decides to bring him to a party above ground. Which rules will she teach him? Will Eggs manage to be polite?
    • The Boxtrolls (Focus Features, 2014, certificate PG).
      • Start time: 50:25 (in chapter 11)
      • End time: 53:42
      • Clip length: 3 minutes and 17 seconds
      • The clip begins when Winnifred (Elle Fanning) says, ‘You look like a proper boy.’ The clip ends after Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) spits out his cheese in order to make use of a plate and fork.
      • If you cannot play the clip, say:
        • Winnifred has dressed Eggs in the right clothes for a human party. But, she soon realises that he’ll need to learn a few things before he can blend in at the party. She teaches him to greet people. But, after she is whisked away, Eggs find the food. He eats a bug, scoffs handfuls of cheese and then spits it all out when he realises that he should have used a fork and plate.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Do you think Eggs was polite? [Take suggestions.] If you were Winnifred, what would you have taught Eggs before going into the party? [Take suggestions.]
    • Winnifred trains Eggs to follow the rules of the party. But, she doesn’t encourage him to respect the people there. She teaches him to say, ‘It’s a pleasure to meet you,’ but tells him he can say it even if he’s not pleased to meet them. No wonder Eggs stuffs his face whilst the other guests faint – he is thinking more about his stomach than their feelings.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Being polite is all about respecting people. When we’re eating at someone else’s home, we follow their rules because we respect them. The Bible teaches that treating people with respect should come from our hearts.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honouring each other.’ (Romans 12:9-10)
    • It’s not about pretending to love people, whilst trying to get away with as much as we can. It’s about really loving them. It’s about genuinely caring for them. It’s about enjoying putting them first. What’s the point in saying ‘It’s a pleasure to meet you’ if you don’t really mean it?
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • When we truly respect people, we honour them by being polite to them. Don’t forget: what is polite in one home may be rude in another, so we need to take the time to find out what is important to other people.
    • The next time you’re at a friend’s house and wondering about how much you can get away with. Remember the reason we are polite: respect.

Headings and Bullets

  • Dinnertime rules [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Do you have any dinnertime rules at home?
    • Different homes have different rules.
    • Generally, we all understand what it means to be polite and rude at dinnertime.
  • Dinnertime around the world [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Can anyone give me an example of something that people tend to do in another country at dinnertime that we don’t tend to do here?
    • Examples of mealtime etiquette around the world.
    • So, being polite in other parts of the world might look very different to being polite here.
  • Eggs’ culture shock
    • Introduce Eggs as boy brought up by Boxtrolls.
    • He lives underground, wears a box and only comes above ground at night.
    • Introduce Winnifred, the girl who decides to bring him to a party above ground.
    • Which rules will she teach him? Will Eggs manage to be polite?
  • Play the film clip from The Boxtrolls
  • Winnifred’s version of polite [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Do you think Eggs was polite?
    • If you were Winnifred, what would you have taught Eggs before going into the party.
    • Winnifred trains Eggs to follow the rules of the party, but not to respect the people.
    • E.g. ‘It’s a pleasure to meet you,’ but you don’t have to mean it.
    • No wonder Eggs is thinking more about his stomach than the feelings of the other guests.
  • Politeness comes from respect [PowerPoint slide 4-5]
    • Being polite is all about respecting people.
    • When we’re eating at someone else’s home, we follow their rules because we respect them.
    • The Bible teaches that treating people with respect should come from our hearts.
      • Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honouring each other.’ (Romans 12:9-10)
    • It’s not about pretending to love people, whilst trying to get away with as much as we can; it’s about genuinely caring for them.
    • What’s the point in saying ‘It’s a pleasure to meet you’ if you don’t really mean it?
  • Honouring others [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • When we truly respect people, we honour them by being polite to them.
    • Don’t forget: what is polite in one home may be rude in another, so we need to take the time to find out.
    • The next time you’re at a friend’s house and wondering about how much you can get away with, remember the reason we are polite: respect.

RESPOND

Reflection

  • Since our parents are the ones who set the rules in your homes, we’re going to read an extra bit of advice from the Bible about respecting parents.
    • ‘Children, do what your parents tell you. This is only right. “Honour your father and mother” is the first commandment that has a promise attached to it, namely, “so you will live well and have a long life.”’ (Ephesians 6:1-3, The Message).
  • Think about your parents and all the good things they do for you. Think about the love they have for you.
  • Think about the rules you find hardest to follow, and think about why your parents have given you that rule.
  • The Bible says that if we respect our parents we will have good and long lives. See if you can think about this when you have dinner tonight, and see if you can show your respect by being polite.

Prayer

  • Dear Father. Please give us love and respect for our parents, for our friends and for all people. Thank you that you have made every family different. Help us to show our respect by being polite. Amen.

YOU WILL NEED:

  1. The Boxtrolls (Focus Features, 2014, certificate PG) Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. Boxtrolls Assembly PowerPoint.
  3. (Optional) Table and chairs for Dinnertime opening activity.
  4. (Optional) Board and marker/interactive whiteboard for Reason for rules opening activity.

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