Marianne and Suzan,
While I do not have experience doing this with younger students, I really do think it would work. Of course you would have to do a lot of modeling to show your students what it means to "fill a bucket." Perhaps you (the teacher) could spend the first month of school recognizing students who you see filling other students' buckets before having the kids actually fill real buckets in your classroom. Also, the book "Have You Filled a Today?" is written in way that would make sense even to your young students.
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