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The Pied Piper of Hamelin {Free eBook & Go-Alongs}

The Pied Piper of Hamelin {Free eBook & Go-Alongs}

The Pied Piper of Hamelin {Free eBook & Go-Alongs}

The Piped Piper of Hamelin by Robert Browning is a famous poem often found on reading lists. You can download a free version of the book beautifully illustrated by Kate Greenaway.

The story of the pied piper of Hamelin originated in Germany. It is said that in the late 13th century when the town was infested with rats an odd and unique stranger came into town dressed in multicolored (or pied) garments explaining that he could rid them of their rats — for a price. The town mayor, desperate for a solution, agreed to the man’s price.

The odd man pulled out his pipe and played an odd tune that drew the rats from all quarters. When the rats were all around him, he walked into a nearby river, and all of the rats were drowned.

Unfortunately, once rid of their rat population, the town reneged on their end of the agreement. In retaliation, the man once again drew out his pipe, and played a different song. This time it was the children of the town that were drawn to him as though in a trance, including the mayor’s daughter, and all followed him into a cave and were never seen again.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin {Free eBook & Go-Alongs}

There are stories of a church in Hamelin that used to contain a window depicting the event. There are also stories found in old manuscripts that seem to indicate something indeed happened to 130 children that was not to be forgotten, though there was no mention of rats.

The brothers Grimm began collecting stories of German folklore in the 19th century as a way of preserving the German culture. Although not really meant for children, the “Pied Piper of Hamelin” found a place among their rather dark fairy tales.

It was in 1842 that Robert Browning published his version of the events in a poem contained in his Dramatic Lyrics anthology.

The version illustrated by the renowned Kate Greenaway was published in 1888 as a children’s book

Free eBook

  • Find Hamelin, Germany on a map.
  • Locate the Weser river.
  • Rewrite the poem as a short story. You can use Drawing & Writing paper to illustrate each scene.
  • Create a banner to state and illustrate the moral of the story.
  • Write a news story detailing the event.
  • Create an author page for Robert Browning.

Further Investigation

Background Historical Information — Pied Piper
Background information from the University of Texas at San Antonio.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin
A compilation of the legends at the University of Pittsburgh.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Told in story form for comparison with suggested activity above.


The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Pied Piper math.

THe Pied Piper of Hamelin

The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Robert Browning
Paperback version for those interested.

“The Ratcatcher”
Short story in The Red Fairy Book, fairy tales compiled by Andrew Lang.

Lesson Plans & Unit Studies

The Pied Piper
Lesson idea download from Pearson Education.

Printables & Notebooking Pages

Germany Map
For locating Hamelin and the Weser river.

Drawing & Writing Notebooking Paper {Free Download}
Great for copying and illustrating the poem.

Author Notebooking Pages
Simple set of pages for copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.

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