The purpose of this lesson is to create a caring school community where students, parents, teachers, and guests at the school feel welcome, respected, appreciated and valued. Before the lesson begins teachers need to familiarize themselves with the core values/Covey’s habits: “Think win-win,” “seek first to understand, then to be understood,” and synergy. Teachers also need to be familiar with the “Bucket Filling” theory.
Curricular connections that can be made: During guided reading lessons that have characters dealing with conflict resolution in them, students can point out the core values they can connect with this story, as well as any “bucket filling” or “dipping” that they read in the story. Students can also do written reflections.
Students will be able to demonstrate ways they have been or can be “bucket fillers” or “bucket dippers.”
Students will be able to describe how bucket-filling is connected to the habits/core values “think win-win,” “seek first to understand, then to be understood,” and synergy.
Dipper (shovel, spoon, something similar)
Fun, sparkly, or light-up glasses
Sheet with a large bucket printed on it (can create in Microsoft Word)
Small index cards with examples of ways to “fill buckets” and “dip into buckets”.
Introduce the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today?: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud. Read this story to the students. Share that this story focuses on the habits: Think Win-Win, Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood, and Synergy.
After the story, give each student a pom-pom and have them give an example of how they can fill someone’s bucket, then drop the pom-pom into a bucket.
Read statements that have both bucket filling/dipping examples. Students have to state whether you should add a pom-pom in the bucket or take your dipper and dip some out.
Discuss what different types of emotions/feelings are connected with bucket filling and dipping. Draw a T-chart on chart paper with the title “My Bucket Filling Emotions." One half of the chart will state “How does it make me feel when someone fills my bucket?” The other side, “How does it make me feel when someone dips into my bucket?” Students will help create the list.
Conclusion: Put on the fun glasses. Tell students that with your magic glasses on, you can see their buckets and whether they are full or not. Then walk around and pretend to see what is in their buckets by giving basic examples like, “Wow, your bucket is so full. Someone did something for you today. Can you think of someone who has done something nice for you today?”
Students will do a written reflection/drawing activity: Give each student the activity sheet with the bucket on it. Have them write/draw examples in the bucket on their sheet of ways to fill buckets. Have students share what they wrote/drew.
Extensions and Adaptations
Related Links and Resources
Kim Groome & Joy Hawkins, Guidance counselors, Bell’s Crossing Elementary, Greenville County School District in South Carolina