A young boy named Felix learns how to become a "bucket filler" instead of a "bucket dipper" when he realizes that all words and actions affect people in different ways. We can make an effort to help people feel good about themselves. Read aloud this book to your students during the first week of school and discuss the idea that we all have invisible buckets that need to be filled. When our bucket is full, we feel happy and good about ourselves, but when our bucket is empty, we don't feel so good about ourselves. Then introduce this:
Community Builder idea: Purchase small buckets or cups (even the large Solo cups would work). Purchase one for each child in your class. Place them inside a plastic shoe bag. Purchase a bag of 100 mini pom-poms and place them in a location near the buckets. Post a sign that says, "Have You Filled Your Bucket Today?" Encourage your students to fill their buckets when they feel happy and to remove pom-poms when something happens to make them feel bad. A variation includes having students fill their classmates buckets as well. Ask them to be on the lookout for ways their classmates help others fill their invisible buckets. When they spot something, ask them to fill that classmate's bucket with a pom-pom. Use any empty buckets as a discussion starter. What are some ways we can help _________ fill their bucket?
One more variation: Try this at home! I'm going to provide two buckets for my kids and a bag of pom-poms. I'm going to read aloud the book to them and have a discussion with them about filling buckets. Then I will introduce their new buckets and encourage them to fill each others buckets. I may even provide a bucket for my husband and me. I'll let you know how it turns out.