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  • Teacher Stacey

Have YOU Filled a Bucket Today?

Updated: Oct 20, 2022

This week we read a precious book that talks about how ALL of our actions have consequences. We are either filling buckets (our own and those around us) or dipping into buckets. I was first introduced to this book over 10 years ago when I worked as a Head Start Teacher in Phoenix. I still love it.

For my fellow teacher (or home-school parent) friends, I thought you might like to see how I create an entire week-long lesson plan from one book. Enjoy! And please like, comment, share, and ask questions below!

While I never set a clock or have specific time periods for things like art and science, we do follow a basic schedule and I make sure to hit all the subjects every day. Here is how we did just that.

After introducing the book and what it was all about, we spent all week talking and reminding ourselves if we were bucket filling or bucket dipping. The children were so sweet and adorable as they would run up to me squealing, "Ms. Stacey! I filled a bucket!!! I shared with my friend!" One child said, "I stepped on her toe but it was an accident. I didn't mean to be a bucket dipper!" I was quick to assure her that accidents definitely didn't count as bucket dipping and that in fact because she acknowledged her accident that was for sure bucket filling!

During outside time I witnessed a lot of helping out and I even received a small bouquet for my own bucket.

Also for outdoor play we used buckets in our water table. It's really not a stretch at all! And it is still very hot here in Arizona so water play is a must if we are going to have any outside time at all. I also have these fabulous stilts which if we are honest are just upside down buckets are they not?

After reading the story I encouraged the children to come up with ideas of how they would fill their family member's buckets at home throughout the week. One student said she would give her mom an at-home spa day. I hope she does. I for one know her mom could use it! I had the children draw their ideas in their journals and if they wanted help, I wrote down their dictated words below. These journals are an excellent tool to use when you have children at differing developmental ages. Some can draw and write while others can receive a bit more assistance.

Although the book is very clear that the buckets we all carry around are invisible I thought it would be fun if we would all make our own buckets. I found these fun brightly colored plastic cups at Walmart and put them on the art table with Sharpies, pipe stems, stickers and a hole punch. The childrens' creativity was able to shine through. For one child the request to make multiple Dallas Cowboys Stars was something I had to swallow my pride and concede to do. Ha Ha! While another child put more stickers on hers than I realized I had. One child made one bucket and some children wanted to make 3 or 4. At Ms. Stacey's Playground when it comes to art there are no rules! Here are just a few of our finished products.

With our art supplies we also made cards for people we love.

The book shows the buckets being filled with rainbow colored hearts and stars and flowers and I thought of my lovely stampers as another fun activity so I put those out as well.

At my previous employer, Candelen, I learned this cute little activity from

called "Cup Towers" It is so simple it may seem too good to be true. And yet every child I've used this with has enjoyed it. I simply give the children the plastic disposable cups, (again no rules, no directives!) and see what they do.

For our technology center our light table with translucent flowers was a huge hit!

Music time involved dancing with our colorful scarves!

And last but not least for sensory time, buckets of brightly colored slime seemed like the obvious choice!

For anyone also doing a Bilingual Spanish Program I found this book to be a perfect fit:

I would love to hear any other ideas you have regarding this book or others! Thanks for stopping by!

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