How Full Is Your Bucket Activities for Kids

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

'How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids' by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer teaches children how to show kindness toward one another. The book provides a powerful lesson that can be carried into the classroom.

How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids

How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids is the children's version of a popular book written by Tom Rath about the influences that both kindness and negativity can have on a person. By comparing a person's emotional state to a bucket that can be both filled (with kindness) and drained (with negativity), the author provides a visual for students to relate. The following activities have been developed to accompany the reading of this book and to extend learning.

How Do You Feel?

The author of this book cleverly uses the bucket analogy to explain how people feel when they are complimented versus when they experience negativity. Use this activity to help students understand this analogy.

Materials: drawing paper and crayons of colored pencils

  • Give each student a piece of drawing paper and something to draw with.
  • Have students divide their papers into two sections.
  • In one section, have students write a sentence about having a full bucket and how it makes them feel. For example, ''When my bucket is full, I feel happy.''
  • In the second section, have students do the same with a low bucket.
  • Next, in each section, ask students to draw a picture of their faces showing how they feel.

Story Map

Use this activity to help students retell the story.

Materials: drawing paper, crayons or colored pencils, pencils

  • Give each student a piece of drawing paper and something to draw and write with.
  • Demonstrate for students how to fold their paper into thirds so that three sections are created.
  • Show students how to unfold their papers and use a pencil to drawn in the lines that will separate their papers into three sections.
  • Have students label the sections beginning, middle, and end.
  • Next. have students write 1-2 sentences in each section explaining what happened in that part of the book.
  • Finally, allow students to draw pictures to illustrate their sentences.

Partners Compliment Game

Use this activity to teach students the art of complimenting one another.

Materials: Large plastic cups (one per student), cut-outs of water droplets (4-5 per student and large enough to write on), permanent markers, pencils or pens

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