Town Musicians of Bremen

OverviewThe children will learn about the value of friendship and identify opportunities for collaboration. They should be encouraged in a discussion to think about the value of friendships between humans and animals and how to deal with older pets. They should learn to transfer this to their environment (humans, animals, environment).
Learning objectivesLearn about the value of friendship and apply this to the children’s environment
Skills developedCritical thinking, Listening skills, Self-reflection
MaterialsThe story “Town Musicians of Bremen”, pictures provided in additional materials (alternative: use Google search to find pictures to print out - of the Town Musicians of Bremen - of older pets that have found a home, e.g., in animal shelters)
Step 1: Read out the story and listen to it
Sit down with the children in a circle (e.g., during circle time in the morning) and read them the Town Musicians of Bremen story. Show them pictures of them.  
Step 2: Friendship
When the story is finished, start thinking aloud with the children about how the Town Musicians of Bremen were able to chase away the robbers. The children need to be made aware of the importance of solidarity and friendship in order to achieve something together.
Set impulses if necessary:
●       Would the animals have been able to do this on their own in each case and if so, how?
●       How would you act in a similar situation? > would you be stronger alone or in a group?
●       What other situations can you think of where you are stronger as a group?
Step 3: Pets
Once the children have understood how important friendship can be, now try to direct them to the individual animals of the Town Musicians of Bremen, especially the reasons why they ran away from their owners. Discuss with the children whether they have pets of their own. Let them tell you whether they are friends with them and if so, how close they are. Would they give them away (e.g., to a shelter) when they are older and can’t/won’t play with them so much anymore? Show them the provided pictures (or if you have an older pet show them pictures of it > more connected to children’s environment). Ask for the reasons according to the answers. Guide the children to value every living being and their relationship with him/her.
TipsAdditional materialsHow to apply online?What to do at home?
What you need to know about the topic before you start:
Town Musicians of Bremen  (with pictures) > alternatively, if the group is smaller and a tablet is available, you can also play the story to the children as a video.
The importance of friendship in childhood
Bonding between children and pets
Older pets
The activity can also be done with parents at home or outdoors.
AuthorKatrin Christl, Jennifer Skurka

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