Friday, April 24, 2015

How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids

Title:  How Full is Your Bucket?  For Kids

Author:  Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer
Illustrator:  Mauri J. Manning
Publisher:  Gallup Press, ©2009
ISBN:  978-1-59562-027-9
Grade Level:  PreK-3

Book Review:  When Felix asks Grandpa to intervene in a conflict with his baby sister, Grandpa introduces the idea of an invisible bucket that contributes to Felix's overall feelings of self worth and esteem.  Sure enough, the next morning when Felix wakes up, he sees the bucket over his head and the heads everyone else as well.  From then on every interaction throughout the day acts as a deposit or a withdrawal into someone's bucket.  Felix begins to understand that not only should he be aware of the level in his own bucket, but he can also contribute to the buckets of others.  A systems thinker might call that bucket a stock.  This book does a great job of helping young people and adults see the importance of keeping their buckets full, as well as serving as a bucket-filler for others.  A great presentation of a very important topic, this book could be an excellent catalyst for a class meeting, an SEL lesson or any time when a reminder to be a bit kinder to others is in order. 

Systems Thinking Connections
Habits:  Pays attention to accumulations and their rates of change.  This habit requires thinking about how the amount, or level, of something is changing over time.  This book is an exact match to the type of thinking described in this habit.

Tools:  How Full is Your Bucket?  is a concrete example of the systems thinking tool known as a stock flow diagram.  It identifies an accumulation with inflows and outflows. In a classroom learning to use this tool, the book is an ideal way to reinforce the technicalities of creating a stock flow diagram.  Students could begin by using ideas in the book to build a stock flow, and then add to the diagram from their own feelings and life experiences.