Fifth graders at FMIS attend a tea party fit for British royalty......

How could adding boiling water to leaves get so complicated? Pinkies up or down? Just ask the fifth graders at FMIS who have been studying about the Boston Tea Party, the Tea Act and the rules regarding a tea party fit for royalty.

Students dressed a bit royal and sounded a tad British, Thursday, as they chatted during their tea. Sugar cubes were passed, warm tea was sipped and cookies were shared in a candelight sitting at the school.

Walking around with crowns on their head, at the tea party, teachers Tambrey Kinley, Jeff Ashley and Christy Tipton alias “the KAT Team,” were grading students’ on their manners. The teachers explained the students have been studying the importance of the Tea Party.  With that winding down, they said, the tea party was a perfect time to incorporate some “tea etiquette,” manners and some fun. Students received formal invitations.  Parents were also invited. Some opted for costumes and also served.   

Some do’s and don’ts shared by the students include:

--Pinkies down, said Corey Nowlin. “Anything otherwise would be considered rude,” he said.

--Never fill your cup to the rim. Never stir so others can hear it.  Do not allow the teaspoon to touch the sides of the cup. Quietly stir in a little figure-eight motion and place the spoon on the front-side of your cup.

--Don’t look up when you are drinking your tea.

--Never cradle the cup with your fingers.

--Hand placement is most important, said Peyton Sanders.  Never loop your fingers through the handle, nor grasp the vessel bowl with the palm of your hand.

--Rise from the table when a woman leaves or comes to the table. Excuse yourself from the table.

--Sip, don’t slurp, your tea and swallow before eating.

The catalyst for the original “Boston Tea Party,” one child explained, wasn’t a tea party at all. Instead, he explained that a group of colonists, on the night of December 16, 1773, disguised themselves as Indians, boarded three ships moored in Boston Harbor and destroyed more than 92,000 pounds of British East India Company tea.

Linda HicksFMIS