ALEX Lesson Plan


The Empty Pot

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Carol Blair
System: Opp City
School: Opp Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33120


The Empty Pot


This lesson will help students identify the moral of the story The Empty Pot by Demi. During this lesson, students will have an opportunity to discuss and write about the character trait honesty. Students will share about a time when they demonstrated this character trait.

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
CE (K-12)
4. Honesty
ELA2015 (2)
2. Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral. [RL.2.2]
ELA2015 (2)
28. Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question. [W.2.8]
ELA2015 (2)
30. Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media. [SL.2.2]

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

The students will recount stories, including fables and folktales, from diverse cultures to determine the central message, lesson, or moral.

Students will answer questions by recalling information from experiences and gathering information from provided sources.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

The student will recount or describe key details from a text read aloud.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

31 to 60 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Book: The Empty Pot by Demi


Crayons and Pencils


Writing handout

Technology Resources Needed:


Check video clip link to make sure it is accessible.

Get the book The Empty Pot by Demi

Make a T-Chart


1. Ask students if they know what the word honesty means. Talk to them about why it is important to tell the truth and the consequences for not telling the truth.

2. Engage the students in the lesson by showing the honesty video clip.

3. Ask students to turn and talk to their partner about a time something good happened because they told the truth. Give students an opportunity to share their responses.

4. Ask students to turn and talk to their partner about a time they did not tell the truth and the consequences they faced. Give students an opportunity to share their responses.

5. Read aloud the Chinese folktale The Empty Pot by Demi. Discuss examples from the story of the characters being either honest or dishonest. The students will pick an example from the story and draw a picture that represents an example of either honesty or dishonesty. The students will be directed to cite evidence from the text to support their responses.

6. The students will share their pictures and text-supported evidence with the class. The students will give the detail from the text orally that supports the picture they drew. The teacher will record the responses on a T-chart labeled "Examples of being honest/Examples of being dishonest."

7. Discuss the moral of the story (it is always better to be honest rather than to be dishonest). Talk about the part of the story where Ping was frustrated when his plant didn't grow, and the part when he found out why it didn't grow. Ask students to turn and talk with their partner about Ping's feelings each time.

8.  Use each letter of the word "honesty" to write details from the story. The teacher will model an example of how to complete the assignment.  


HHe planted the seed the king gave him.  

O - Only Ping was honest. 

N -No one was given a seed that would actually grow.

EEvery person that brought a flower to the king was dishonest.

S - So many people could not believe Ping pleased the King. 

TThe king was pleased when he saw Ping's empty pot. 

Y - You should follow Ping's example of doing the right thing.

After modeling an example of the writing activity, the students will complete the writing assignment on the handout. (See the attached handout honesty.pdf)

Teacher will assist students with their writing.

Students will share their work when completed.

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Assessment Strategies

Teacher will listen to students' discussions to assess their understanding of the lesson content.

Teacher will listen to students' oral responses when identifying evidence from the text to support the picture they drew.

Teacher will use the honesty lesson evaluation rubric to evaluate the students' participation in the lesson. (see attachement)


The lesson could be extended by reading more folktales that contain the same central message, lesson, or moral.


Students who need extra help will be assisted by the teacher in a small group.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.