Recently, our peace curriculum has moved into the study of peace with others after learning about having peace within ourselves. A perfect book to introduce this concept is called: How Full is Your Bucket?. This book uses the analogy of an empty and full bucket to explain how our actions and words can affect the feelings of others. As the story explains (told by a kindly grandfather to a young grandson), everyone has a bucket that can by filled or emptied depending on your own actions and the actions of others. The little boy then goes off to school and puts his grandfather’s words to the test. Sure enough, he begins to realize that the way he treats others (and the way he is treated) can either fill or empty someone’s bucket.
To make this come alive in the classroom, we set up our own kindergarten bucket with a bowl of beads. Anytime someone acts kindly or has something good happen to themselves, a child can add a bead to our bucket. Conversely, if someone is unkind to another child, a bead can be removed from the bucket. At the end of our mornings, we check our bucket to see how full (or empty) it is. The children joined in this activity with excitement and earnestness. Some children shared with a teacher when they added a bead because someone helped them, others shared that they did a kind action and the other child added a bead. Of course, the bad was shared as well (as we are all learning how to treat others) and this provided plenty of opportunity to discuss how to better treat each other in our classroom community. The golden rule in action- a social experiment success!
The child is both a hope and a promise for mankind.