Introducing "Bucket Filling" to Your Students
- Grades: 3–5
At the beginning of the school year, many teachers take time to create class rules with the help of the students. It is during this time that we read the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? The short book explains to students that we all carry an invisible bucket in which we keep our feelings about ourselves. When our buckets are full, we are happy; when they are empty, we are sad. It is important that students learn that when they fill a friend's bucket, they also fill their own bucket because it feels good to make others happy.
At this time, we also introduce the concept of being a bucket dipper. A bucket dipper is a person who hurts other people's feelings, essentially dipping into their invisible bucket. Since bullying is a common problem in schools, the concept of bucket dippers is often referred to as bullying.
After we read the book and discuss the idea of filling buckets, we brainstorm a list of ways we can fill each other's buckets both in our classroom and around our school. After making the list on chart paper, we type up the students' ideas and create a poster that is hung above our bucket-filling display.