The story tells the fictional account of how George Washington smiled for his portrait sitting by Gilbert Stuart. Three of Stuart's children and the dog and cat act poorly while Washington visits for his painting causing great aggravation to Stuart and his wife. Washington sends a book of manners to the children. Dear Mr. Washington contains several of these rules (ten to be exact). The book that Dear Mr. Washington references is Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, which Washington copied out himself as a boy.
Rules According to George Washington
Reviewing the rules provides a great opportunity to review rules and good manners with your own children.
1. Not showing off
2. Not running
3. Do not stuff your mouth
4. Do not chew your nails
5. Do not try to know others' business
6. Do not laugh at another's misfortune
You can read the entire book by George Washington on Gutenberg.org or purchase a copy for your family. If you want to hand a few out in your house, please find three here.
Over the years, our family has studied George Washington a number of times, created a hat fit for the General, and visited Washington Crossing State Park. If you want to learn more about George Washington, I also wrote a Blogging Through the Alphabet post.
A great way to learn more about someone is to create a timeline of important events in their life. Depending upon the age of your children, they may want to include more or less details. I created a very simple template to create a timeline of the life of George Washington or even the painter, Gilbert Stuart. Click Here!
Create a Portrait
Have your children create a portrait of a member of the family, a pet, or their favorite plush just like Gilbert Stuart created of George Washington. Perhaps they won't have as many distractions as there were in the book!