Recently I came across a blog post that introduced me to the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud. The basic concept is that each one of us carries an invisible bucket around. We can be either bucket fillers by choosing to fill others’ buckets with kind words and good deeds, or bucket dippers by choosing to dip into others’ buckets and stealing their happiness by unkind words and deeds.
I found this idea intriguing enough to check the book out of our local library. Since we’ve had a lot of unkindness in our classroom this school year, I decided to launch the bucket program.
Each child has a bucket. Every time someone does or says something kind, a pompom is put into that person’s bucket as well as into the bucket of the person who was shown kindness. Both buckets get a pompom because when you fill others’ buckets with kindness, you actually fill your own since doing things for others brings joy to you. Each time something unkind is said or done, that child must remove a pompom from his or her bucket as a reminder not to be a bucket dipper.
I want to use this experience with the children to expand their normal social circle. I attached a list of all the students in the class to each child’s bucket. When a student does or says something kind to someone else, he will mark that person’s name on his list. This will help them know who they still need to reach out to in our classroom.
I read the book to the children on Monday. They seemed quite excited about the chance to have buckets and to do kind things for others. We won’t actually launch the program until I’ve had a chance to explain it to the parents (perhaps during our upcoming parent-teacher conferences). I am excited to see how this idea will work in our classroom.
One thing that is important to me is for my students to realize that it does not matter how full your bucket is with good deeds and kind words because without a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, you will never find true happiness and joy.
What ideas have you used to encourage your students to use kind words and deeds?