Have You Filled A Bucket Today: A Story About Kindness
What is Bucket Filling?
Have you filled a bucket today? That’s the question that author Carol McCloud wants to know. The concept of filling a bucket is a simple, yet effective one. Everyone carries around an imaginary bucket. If you do something nice for someone, you not only fill your “imaginary bucket” but you also fill your own. If you do something mean or hurtful to someone else, you are stealing from their bucket and in return you are emptying your own bucket as well. It is a sort of modern day twist on the golden rule. As you do unto others, you are in return building positive self-worth within yourself. This story is one shared in classrooms all over the country. An easy concept for children to understand, but one with such a powerful message. A message that is meant for children but that adults can certainly learn from and live by. Simply stated, bucket filling is just plain being nice to one another and treating each other with mutual respect, something that seems to be lost in today’s society.
Bucket Filling Opportunities
So how can you fill someone’s bucket? Bucket filling is easy and does not have to cost a thing. Filling someone’s bucket can include things like smiling at someone, taking out the garbage for your mom, sending someone a note thanking them for all that they do, or offering to volunteer for a charity organization. The possibilities are only as endless as your kind heart will take you. The simplest act can mean the most to someone. Try it and see how good you feel.
Bucket Filling in the Classroom
In my classroom, we try to fill each other’s bucket each day. I have found that although it was once expected that children come to school with the understanding that they are treat to adults and their peers with respect, that is not the case today. Respect and kindness is one more lesson taught during that school day. At the beginning of the school year I read the story “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?” I then create a poster that has a bucket with each student’s name on it. As we go about our day, we recognize when someone does or says something to fill another person’s bucket. It is written down on a piece of paper and put in a box. At the end of the day, we read the papers and hand out hearts or stars to put in our buckets. Both the person who did the act of kindness along with the recipient get a star or heart to add thus representing filling your bucket while filling someone else's. It is a great way to build classroom community, trust, and respect within the classroom. As the year progresses, there is less emphasis on the actual hearts and stars for the buckets because the acts of kindness have become a part of their natural response within our classroom. It's not the begining of the year you say? That's ok. When I first discovered this book, it was March. I went back to my classroom and read the story and discussed it. That year I didn't create the poster but we did take time to publicly notice the acts of "bucket filling" happening in class.
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