Pied Piper Literary Exploration

created by

Linda Dick

Professor of English and the Humanities

calvery mtn

Did the Pied Piper of Hamelin Town

spirit away 130 children

into the side of a mountain in the year 1284?


In a series of investigative techniques, teachers can lead students on a literary expedition to search for the truth and/or search for the 130 missing children.

The multi-object-oriented software, Encore, allows for students to perform a variety of tasks such as role play literary characters; role play investigative reporters and/or deconstruct the Pied Piper story; create adaptations of the story as well as to simply interpret the story or explore this particular type of story telling device. The students will come together in an online forum (which is password protected) that will allow for the investigation of the story in a number of ways:

Students can take on the players' roles and act out the story, creating their own scripts in the online environment.

Students can become journalists, biographers or ethnographers and re-create the Pied Piper story as they envision it to be.

Students can play a treasure hunt, a game to find the children by entering the online environment as a player and interview other "players" as to the where abouts of the missing children.

Studnents can research the culture of 1284 found within the Pied Piper environment to find out what life was like in the middle ages in the heartland of Europe, and then compare what they find to other stories set in similar time frames such as The Midwife's Apprentice.

The purpose of the online literary investigation is to form a closer understanding of the literature under study; the conditions under which the literature was formed; the reception of the literature by today's audience; and the meaning of the literature for today's reader. These are the four main learning objectives. They are measurable with a list of prepared questions at the end of this link; or measurable by a list of questions developed by the teacher.

Students interact in the chat room format where teachers can record the conversations as a graded assignment. Or, teachers can give assignments within the online environment and request a written or oral assignment be completed after the online experience has been achieved.

The Pied Piper Literary World is cross curriculum in that culture, geography, weather, politics, economics and history are just the surface issues covered in the environment. Deeper within the environment is the literary theory of deconstruction that is explored by the way the story is pulled apart and spread all over the online environment instead of being contained in a few pages of printed text.

Role playing allows the student to assume the nature of the character and therefore better understand the circumstances under which the character is acting. This leads to a deeper understanding of the storied world the characters are living in.

Through a modeling concept of deconstruction in this literary world, teachers can lead students to deconstruction modes in other works of literature or story telling devices such as oral storytelling or cinema.

There are over 200 images in the Pied Piper Literary World. Every effort has been made to seek permission to use the images. In lieu of permission, a bibliography has been provided within the online environment giving credit to the source of the images. Many of the images come from works of art, and in this way the online environment enriches the student even further by exposure to fine art. The images of children especially are all works of art, and are not photographs. While a real child may have sat for the portrait, it is not the intention of this online environment to promote the use of children's images without parental permission.

I will be happy to let you browse the Pied Piper literary world. Send me an email, and I'll send you a character name and password. The expected audience for this online learning activity is the K-12 teacher and the college professor. The following categories can be considered subjects under which the online literary world might qualify as a useful learning tool:

You may contact me at blue51@charter.net.

My professional affiliation is with Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. I have been teaching children's literature, African literature, various English subject courses as well as Culture & the Arts, Culture in the Community, and Mythology since 2001.

Last date of revision 8-14-06