Lesson Plan k-1 – “How Full is Your Bucket?” Topic or main idea

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Lesson Plan K-1 – “How Full is Your Bucket?”

TOPIC OR MAIN IDEA: Social relationships; Making friends; Family relationships; Relationships in the classroom; Identifying feelings and emotions (self and others); Sharing; Cultivating a safe, friendly and accepting classroom learning environment.


Students will be able to:

  • Think actively about their feelings and the feelings of others

  • Recognize the need for healthy personal relationships with friends, family and the community at large

  • Identify things they can do and say to be a “bucket filler”

  • Classify behaviors as either “bucket fillers” or “bucket dippers”

  • Begin to use vocabulary for expressing feelings and for social interaction



Grade 1

  • A2 participate co-operatively and productively in groups

  • A3 gather information from personal experiences, oral sources, and visual representations
  • D1 describe basic human needs

  • E3 demonstrate responsible behavior in caring for their immediate and school environments

MATERIALS: Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud, illus. David Messing, A large sand bucket, colorful warm and fuzzies (pom pom balls), How full is your bucket worksheet, construction paper, classroom supply caddies.


What the Teacher will be doing :

What the Students will be doing :


Hook: Present a large sand bucket and ask the students if they know what it is and why it is in the classroom. Once interest has been sparked, ask the classroom how they are feeling today and why they might be feeling happy/sad/angry/tired etc. Ask students what they remember about the “Have you Filled a Bucket Today” and review what we spoke about last lesson.

Sitting on the carpet, hands raised when responding and listening when others are talking. Students will begin to think actively about how they are feeling today and why.


Introduction: Read “Have You Filled a Bucket Today?”

During reading, pause and ask the following questions:

p.9 – Ask the students to imagine their invisible bucket and think of a time that they are very happy (that is when the bucket is full) and very sad or angry (when their bucket is empty)

p.13 – Ask the students what they think it means to be a bucket filler

p.15 – Ask the students what it means to be a bucket dipper

After reading the story, ask the students if they enjoyed the story. Ask them if they think that the story is true – does everyone have an invisible bucket?

Listening to the story being told and replying to questions by raising their hands.



Activity #1: “Sorting”

The teacher will lead a sorting activity for “bucket fillers” and “bucket dippers”. The teacher will begin by suggesting an example of each behavior and then ask for the students to give their own ideas.

Students will identify behaviors and/or words that would be “bucket fillers” or “bucket dippers”


Activity #2: “Filling our Buckets”

Hand out ‘warm and fuzzies’ to students and ask them to think of something nice to say to the teacher to help fill their bucket

Halfway through the activity, ask the class to stop and think of something that would make the teacher feel sad/angry. When a student replies, the teacher will remove some ‘warm and fuzzies’, making their bucket less full

Students will walk up to the bucket one at a time and put in their ‘warm and fuzzy’ while saying something to fill the teacher’s bucket
Students will reply with actions/words that would make the teacher feel sad/angry and observe what happens to the bucket

Activity #3: “How Full is Your Bucket” worksheet

Have the special helper hand out the worksheet to the grade 1s and an adapted worksheet to the kindergartens. Explain that they will write (or draw) something that makes them feel good/fills their bucket and then create a bucket out of construction paper (show demo)

During activity, walk around and help students.

Students will complete the worksheet.

Conclusion: Allow students to reflect on their own behavior by asking them how they might become better bucket fillers and how we can be bucket fillers outside of the classroom in the community, our school or our families.

Extension: As an effort to maintain social and emotional learning, the bucket filling/dipping activity can continue throughout the year. When a student displays a “bucket filling” behavior, they can add a ‘warm and fuzzy’ to the class bucket and if a “bucket dipping” behavior is seen, the teacher will tell the student to remove a ‘warm and fuzzy’. At the end of each month, the teacher can assess the bucket and if it is full, the class will be rewarded with a fun activity!

Assessment: Assessment can be made in between each activity with classroom discussion. In addition, the teacher can observe increased social/emotional vocabulary and behaviors in the classroom.


** To be completed at the end of the day’s lesson **

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