Today’s pick for best back-to-school read aloud is How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer. Follow the main character, Felix, as he goes through his day having his bucket drained and filled. The previous day, his grandfather shares the idea of everyone having an invisible bucket. If someone’s bucket is filled up, they feel great, but if the bucket is drained the person feels lousy. It’s an idea that sticks with Felix as he imagines each drip of water spilling from his bucket when he gets in trouble at home for making a mess at breakfast and gets teased and bullied at school by some of his classmates. In contrast, he feels his bucket being filled up drop by drop when his teacher praises his writing, his mom packs a note of love in his lunchbox, his friends pay him compliments and he’s named the team captain during P.E.
Introducing the idea of bucket filling to students can be the perfect complement to your beginning of the year discussions about classroom expectations. During or after reading the book, make a T-chart of bucket filling words and actions and bucket dipping words and actions. Then, throughout the year, provide your students with opportunities to fill each other’s buckets by taking a post-it note with a classmate’s name and write a compliment or note of kindness to them to start their day. One of my students this year asked, “Can we do this every morning?!” And that’s precisely the idea… Kids will want to fill each other’s buckets every day. Enjoy this bookmark freebie with more ideas for how kids can be bucket fillers by clicking here.
The Book Wrangler