My building spends a lot of time talking about "bucket filling". Our counselor covers this concept in her lessons using the Have You Filled a Bucket Today? book.
The idea is that people can help to fill the buckets of those around them by supporting others, saying nice things, performing acts of kindness and being a helpful friend. When others fill our buckets, we feel joy, have energy, and look forward to each day. When others say mean things, make faces, and don't support someone, they dip into their bucket. When this happens, they feel upset, have little energy, and may dread coming to school the next day.
I spend a lot of time in my classroom talking about how we are a family. We spend a lot of time together and while I don't expect all my students to be best friends, I expect them to work to fill each others' buckets during the school week.
This activity would be a great way to build community at the beginning of the school year. How can students fill the buckets of their family members, their classmates or their friends? I also have another worksheet as an additional assignment or an alternate version for younger students. Have kids draw a picture of what this might look like. Focus on how that other person would feel. How would that show on their face? It's never too early to teach about empathy! :)
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