History of the Tale
The history of the myth The Pied Piper of Hamelin dates back to 26 June 1284. The poem first existed as a German myth in the town of Hamelin where the piper spirits away the children of Hamelin who are never seen again.
Where did the story begin? In 1816, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (known mostly for their penning of the gruesome Grimm's Fairy Tales) published a comprehensive collection that drew upon eleven sources of the various versions of the myth. These versions include:
a blind and a lame child could not follow the Piper and were left behind;
the piper and the children entered an underground passage that lead to Transylvania
a street in Hamelin was named after the event (the Bungelose Gasse - 'Drumless Lane'), and it is forbidden to sing or play an instrument in it.
But it was Robert Browning who made the story famous in the English dialect when he translated the various mythical elements into a children's poem of world-renown. Browning's version of The Pied Piper of Hamelin was published in 1849.
Further information about the Pied Piper is available at www.quotationspage.com/author.php?author=robert%20browning
What does the Pied Piper look like?
Using the description of the Pied Piper given in Browning's poem (and also stated above), get the children (in groups) to draw their interpretation of the Pied Piper, using the description as their starting point. Once each group has presented their version, discuss how the drawings still differed greatly, even though they all started with the same stimulus.