Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Monday, November 29, 2010

How Full is Your Bucket?

Name: How full is your bucket?

Author: Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer

Grade/Age: Grade 1-3 (5-8 years old)

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Summary: After Felix refuses to let his little sister play with him she angrily kicks over his blocks and that’s when his grandfather explains that Felix had just dipped from her bucket. Using the metaphor of a bucket and dipper, Felix’ grandfather explains why happy people make him feel good while the others make him feel bad – and how he himself is affecting others. He begins to see how every interaction in a day either fills or empties his bucket and how easy it can be to fill the buckets of his classmates, teachers and family members and in the process discovers that filling someone else’s buck also fills his own.

Raising Awareness Element 5: This can naturally lead to children becoming aware of the consequences of their actions and involve them in wanting to do acts of kindness toward others.

Using it in the classroom: Using this book in your classroom is a great way to integrate element 5. This book would be a good introduction to discuss many things such as self-esteem, positive and negative feelings, bullying, etc. This story is a great way to teach children that their actions towards others affects other’s feelings as well as their own. Positive actions and feelings can fill each person’s bucket, while negative actions and feelings can empty the bucket. Isn’t it better to have a full bucket than an empty one?

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