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Monday, March 8, 2010

Building Character - a book suggestion

Have You Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids - Carol McCloud

"This heartwarming book encourages positive behavior as children see how rewarding it is to express daily kindness, appreciation, and love. Bucket filling and dipping are effective metaphors for understanding the effects of our actions and words on the well being of others and ourselves."

Have students make their own buckets & try to get their buckets filled (stars, stickers, goodies, etc) throughout the week by doing something kind for someone else. "When you make someone feel special, you are filling a bucket". But remember not to be a bucket dipper; "a bucket dipper says or does mean things that make others feel bad."

This activity conveys a positive message that any student can benefit from when building character! Enjoy!
*This book can be used in the classroom, in small group counseling, and in the home.


  1. I like this book. I've used it with Early Childhood students, both regular ed. and special ed. I thought the book was somewhat wordy for young children, especially students with language difficulties. As an adaptation, I paraphrased while I read the story and for a visual, I referenced a bucket (heart shaped) that we would use for an activity after the story. Using boardmaker pictures, students decided if the picture was a "bucket filler" (sharing, waving "hi," smiling, take turns, playing together, etc) or a "bucket dipper" (taking toys from friends, hitting, mean face, etc.) The students put the "bucket filler" pictures into the heart shaped bucket. The student ripped the "bucket dipper" pictures and threw them in the garbage. (I gave students a "bucket dipper" pictures if they needed a movement break, AKA a walk to the garbage.) The pictures lead to short discussion why it was a "bucket filler" vs. a "bucket dipper" picture.

  2. I am a bit obsessive with childrens books. I have never read this one but you can bet I will be ordering it!