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The Empty Pot: A Lesson in Patience

Story Time is a class I am teaching at the home school co-op we are trying out this year. We read a quality children’s book and then do some type of activity. I can’t seem to help but tie in a Biblical lesson, too.

I am posting the successes here so you can use the lesson with your family.

The Empty Pot: A Lesson in Patience



  • The Empty Pot by Demi
  • Large and small square paper (I used 12×12 scrapbook paper and 6×6 origami paper) the thicker the paper the harder to get nice folds.
  • Craft sticks (popsicle sticks when I was young)
  • Green markers or colors
  • Stapler (a really good one) or glue dots or time to let things dry with good old white glue
  • Optional: printed verse James 1:4 (I did 2×4 shipping labels. There’s a file to download if you like. James 1v4 labels)


Read and discuss the story. Enjoy. Stop to ask and answer questions. There are many great lessons to explore. In Story Time I focused on patience. We touched on others in our discussion.

Discussion ideas:

  • Ping grew nothing in his pot despite his faithful patient work.
  • Ping chose to be honest and present his best to the Emperor even though and it looked like nothing.
  • We discussed the character qualities that grew or were shown by Ping like patience, trust, honesty, and hard work.
  • When Ping’s seed did not grow he did not lose his confidence in his talents. This is a lesson I would bring out with more time.
  • When we try and fail we are not failures. Still learning this myself. You?


Tying in Scripture:
I chose James 1:4

But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

This story is a beautiful example of patience having her perfect work. Ping patiently worked and waited for a full year. A very long time for a child. His reward was a kingdom, he was lacking nothing. We are also promised a kingdom, the Kingdom of God. Jesus said the Kingdom was at hand, the Kingdom is here, the Kingdom is coming. Patience, faithful work and waiting, in our calling will bring us to being “perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”


Flower pot – We used 12×12 scrapbook paper and this flower-pot design.
Flowers – We used 6×6 and a few 5.5×5.5 thin paper. We used these flower instructions.
Color the craft sticks green. Write the character qualities you admire in Ping on each flower. Attach paper flowers to craft sticks.
We put the label with the verse on our flower-pot.

Flower pot with verse

I hope you enjoy this project and the opportunity to share memorable lessons with your children.

Christian, Wife, Mother, and Author loving life in Alaska.

Feedback is always welcome. Thank you for reading!