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A long time ago in China there was a boy named Ping who loved flowers. Anything he planted burst into bloom.

The Emperor loved flowers too. When it was time to choose an heir, he gave a flower seed to each child in the kingdom. “Whoever can show me their best in a year’s time,” he proclaimed, “shall succeed me to the throne!”

Ping plants his seed and tends it every day. But month after month passes, and nothing grows. When spring comes, Ping must go to the Emperor with nothing but an empty pot.

from The Empty Pot at

The story of Ping and his empty pot is one of my favorite picture books. Grab our The Empty Pot unit study and enjoy this story as you learn about China, plants, honesty, and more.

Thanks to Wende and Candace for helping with this The Empty Pot unit study.

The Empty Pot Unit Study Lessons

This unit study includes lessons and printables based on the book The Empty Pot by Demi.

Here are some sample lessons from the The Empty Pot Unit Study:

Science: Parts of a Flower
Many plants are made up of four parts: flowers, leaves, roots, and stems. Here are the basic parts of a flower:

  • Stems keep the plant upright. Leaves and flowers grow on the stems.
  • Sepals are small leaves that are found under the flower.
  • Petals are brightly colored leaves. They are easy to spot and the reason we love to look at flowers!
  • The middle has long tubes called stamens. Stamens have two parts, the anther and the filament. Can your student find any pollen on the stamens?
  • Plant use this pollen to make seeds. The pistil is the inner middle of the flower. It is the seed producing part and usually consists of a stigma, style, and ovary.

History: Emperors
The word emperor is a general word for a ruler having total control of a country or region. Throughout history, various places have had (and still have) different names for rulers. Introduce your student to some of these names- president, king/queen, emperor, czar, dictator. Also explain to your student that different kinds of rulers have different amounts of power.

You can grab a copy of the entire The Empty Pot Unit Study and Lapbook in an easy-to-print file at the end of this post.

The Empty Pot Lapbook Printables

In addition to the unit study lessons, the file also includes a The Empty Pot lapbook with these mini-books:

  • Growing Beans Mini-book
  • One Year Layer Book
  • Vocabulary Flowers and Flowerpots
  • My Plant Experiment Shutterfold Book
  • Royal Decree Scroll Shape Book
  • Proverbs 12:22 Shape Book
  • Honesty Copywork Book
  • Emperor Flap Book
  • Character Study Activity Page
  • What Would I Find in China? Flag Book
  • The Empty Pot Book Basics Tri-fold
  • My Name in Chinese Simple Fold
  • Five Fast China Facts Flap Book
  • The Empty Pot Plot Flap Book
  • Flower Diagram Simple Fold Book

How to Get Started with Your The Empty Pot Unit Study & Lapbook

Follow these simple instructions to get started with the The Empty Pot Unit Study:

  1. Buy a copy of the book, The Empty Pot, or borrow one from your local library.
  2. Print the The Empty Pot unit study.
  3. Choose the lessons you want to use with your student (a highlighter works great for this).
  4. Choose and prepare the lapbook printables you want to use with your student.
  5. Enjoy a week of learning with Ping and his empty pot.

Get Your Free The Empty Pot Unit Study & Lapbook

Simply click on the image below to access your free The Empty Pot Unit Study and Lapbook.

The Empty Pot Unit Study & Lapbook

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