I am a huge fan of kids using manners, so incorporating activities and situations where they are necessary to use is important to me. But, as we all know, sometimes it's challenging to create authentic situations for vocab usage, rather than artificial ones. Here are a few ways I provide those opportunities:
*At the beginning of each class I choose a helper (secretario/secretaria) for that day. That kiddo gets to choose a stuffie to hold, all with names, from a basket I have in my classroom. Of course, in order to get the chosen stuffie, the kiddo has to ask for it using 'por favor' and then has to say 'gracias' once he or she gets it. In the older grades, two kiddos go to the basket, one making the choice and the other giving the stuffie to him/her. This second person of course needs to say 'de nada' once the other has said 'gracias'. This stuffie is the biggest perk of being the helper!
*I give out birthday pencils for each birthday- I have a range of colors, so the birthday boy/girl needs to request which color they would like along with 'por favor' and 'gracias'.
*During our greeting activities in Third Grade, I offer a selection of props kiddos can use (fake mustaches, different types of phones, loads of masks, puppets, etc). Kiddos need to ask for the prop of their choice using their manners.
*Classroom requests (may I go to the bathroom, may I get a drink, etc) need to be accompanied by 'por favor'.
*A number of activities/projects we do offer choice- choice of color of paper for a book cover, choice of art materials for crafts, choice of manipulatives for imaginative play, etc- all asked for politely!
*Any replaying of a song, video, game, etc needs to be asked for using manners.
*If a child sneezes and I say 'Salud', the kiddo needs to respond with 'gracias'.
And of course, I model this vocabulary as well! I am very conscientious about using please, thank you, and you're welcome all through class, every class. Ahhhhh....so nice to be polite!