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The Empty Pot read by Rami Malek

The Empty Pot is written and illustrated by Demi and read by Rami Malek. The Chinese Emperor announces an unusual test to choose an heir—the child who raises the best flowers from a seed given by the Emperor will be his successor. Ping, unaccountably, is unable to get his seed to sprout—but Ping’s empty pot is best of all.


Welcome to Storyline online, brought to you by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. I’m Rami Malik, and today I’m going to be reading to you one of my favorite books. This is the empty part. Written and illustrated by Demi. A long time ago in China, there was a boy named ping who loved flowers. Anything he planted burst into, blew up came flowers, bushes, and even big fruit trees. As if by magic. Everyone in the kingdom loved flowers too. They planted them everywhere and the air smelled like perfume. The emperor loved birds and animals hours most of all. And he tended his own garden. Every day. The emperor, very old, he needed to choose successor to the throne. Who would his successor be? And how would the emperor choose? Because the emperor loved flowers so much. He decided to let the flowers choose. The next day. A proclamation was issued. All the children and the land were to come to the powers. There. They would be given special flower seeds by the Emperor. Whoever can show me their best in a year’s time, he said, will succeed me to the throne. This news crew, great excitement throughout the land. Children from all over the country swarm to the palace to get their flower seeds. All the parents wanted their children to be chosen emperor. And all the children hope they would be chosen to. When ping received his seed from the emperor. He was the happiest child, the bar. He was sure he could grow the most beautiful flower, pink, fill the flower pot with the rich soil. He planted the seed in it, very carefully, moderated. Every day. I couldn’t wait to see it sprout, grow and blossom into a beautiful flower. Day after day passed. Nothing grew in his part. He was very worried. He put new soil into a bigger pot. Then he transferred the seed into the rich black soil. Another two months he waited. Still. Nothing happened. By and buy the whole year past. Spring came all the children and put on their best clothes to greet the emperor. A brush to the palace with their beautiful flowers. Eagerly hoping to be chosen. Peng was ashamed of his empty pot. He thought the other children would laugh at him because for once he couldn’t get a flower to grow. Clever friend ran by holding a great big plant. Ping, He said, you’re not really going to the emperor with an empty pot. Ru, couldn’t you grow a great big flower like mine? I’ve grown lots of flowers better than yours. Pink said. It’s just the seed that won’t grow. Pings. Father overheard this and said, you did your best and your best is good enough to present to the emperor. Holding the empty part in his hands. Ping went straight away to the palace. The emperor was looking at the flowers slowly, one by one. How beautiful all the flowers were that the emperor was frowning and did not say a word. Finally, he came to ping. Ping hung his head in shame. Expecting to be punished. The Emperor asked him, why did you bring an empty pot? Hang started to cry and replied, I planted the seed you gave me and I watered it every day, but it didn’t sprout. I put it in a better pot with better soil. But still it didn’t sprout. I tended it all year long, but nothing grew. So today. And to bring an empty pot without a flower was the best I could do. When the Emperor heard these words. A smile slowly spread over his face and he put his arm around pain. Then he exclaimed to one and all. I have found him, I have found though, one person worthy of being Ember, where you got your seeds from. I do not know. For the seeds I gave you had all been cooked. So it was impossible for any of them to grow. I admire pins, great courage to appear before me with the empty truth. And now I reward him with my entire kingdom and make him emperor of all the land. What I love about the empty part is it does allow me to look inside and realize just how much truth means. Because ultimately the only consequences are feeling like you’re courageous, an honorable and a bigger person. And I guarantee you the truth, always wins. So thank you to the empty part for such a strong message. Keep telling the truth. Thank you guys for watching Storyline online. Make sure to check out all of our stories. Keep watching, and definitely keep reading. (As provided by SchoolTube video transcript.)

Standards Alignment

Suggested Grade Level: 1st-2nd

Standards listed below are for 1st and 2nd grade but can be adapted to kindergarten standards.

CCSS.SL.1.1, CCSS.SL.2.1, CCSS.SL.1.2, CCSS.SL.2.2, CCSS.RL.1.2, CCSS.RL.2.2, CCSS.RL.1.1, CCSS.RL.2.1, CCSS.L.1.2, and CCSS.L.2.2

View the activity guide here:

Storyline Online, SAG Foundation, Screen Actors Guild Foundation, Children’s Literacy, Reading, Fun, Books, Celebrities, Actors, Actresses, Honesty, Telling the truth, Learning from failure, Japan, Rami Malek, SAG-AFTRA Foundation, China, Chinese Folktale, Folktales, Bohemian Rhapsody, Mr. Robot, Flowers, plants, seeds, Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year, Children’s books, Stories for children, Actors read children’s books, Bedtime story, Animated books, Storytime