Title: Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids
Author: Carol McCloud
Illustrator: David Messing
Publisher: Nelson Publishing & Marketing (2006)
Audience: Ages 4 and up
Theme: Self-Esteem, Emotions, Feelings (non-fiction)
You can't see it, but it's there.
You have a bucket.
Each member of your family has a bucket.
Synopsis: In this beautiful book, children are encouraged to express daily kindness and love. The author uses the metaphor of every person being born with an invisible bucket, which represents their emotional health (or happiness quotient). By saying kind words to others, not only will you fill their buckets, but you will fill your own.
Why I Like This Book: The language is simple and to the point. The illustrations are bright and cheerful. And most importantly: My class of six-year-olds got it! They completely understood the concepts and could relate them to their own lives. The children loved the first reading and cheered when I said I was reading it again. Several of them have asked to look at the book during buddy reading.
1. My students wrote happy notes to half the class (I made sure everyone received close to the same amount of notes ~ I say "close", because we have an odd number so some children received an extra). Then they decorated their own buckets with felts and glitter. They delivered their notes, everyone read them, then glued them onto their buckets. This was a HUGE success.
You can download the masters for the bucket, hearts and stars here.
2. You can brainstorm ways in which children can become bucket fillers.
3. Each child could receive their own bucket and collect pom poms to represent their kind deeds. Scholastic describes it here. Personally, I don't do that, only because I don't like to use extrinsic rewards too much. I think the most important reward for being a kind person is the boost in your own self-esteem and happiness as you witness the positive impact of your loving actions. I would prefer to discuss this with the children on a regular basis, rather than just have them collect tokens.
4. Here's a link to a colouring page.
5. Here's a chant.
6. Both of the above activities can be found at Bucket Fillers 101, where you will find lots more activities to choose from.
You can find more great picture books at Susanna Hill's blog.
Have a happy day.