Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Planet Earth Germany - Feb 008
My husband is born and raised in Bremen, a large city in Northern Germany. I first came to visit with him in 2004, and this picture was taken during that visit. Bremen is a beautiful city with a long history. To give you an idea – this City Hall in the picture was built before Columbus sailed for America. I really love this city, and it would be my second preferred place to live after California. Germany_138
We visited Germany (mostly Cologne and Bremen) with Smarty in 2008 when she was about 21 months. She doesn’t remember any of it, of course, but she was very interested to look at the pictures of Bremen and pictures of herself as a “baby” on our computer. Unfortunately, we don’t have many pictures from that visit, since we had a really bad point-and-shoot at the time, and a lot of pictures are blurred.
The Musicians of Bremen
Bremen is one of the few places in Germany that made it to the title of a fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm. Of course, we had to read it. I have to admit, however, that the story itself is sort of sad, and this retelling that I picked up from the library turned out to be pretty bad. It looks like the author was really trying to fit as many SAT words into the story as he possibly could, and I had to simplify it a lot while reading. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite works here, since Smarty usually tracks where I am reading and asks, where did it say “sadly”. I don’t see it. Well, the story said, dolefully. It was funny that in the end of the story she said, But they didn’t really come to Bremen! Why is the story called The Bremen Town Musicians?
Bremen Musicians
I remember Bremen Town Musicians to be a lot more fun than this grim story from the Brothers Grimm. I grew up with an animated Russian version of it that took quite some liberties with the story and has wonderful songs. In the Russian version the animals are part of a traveling circus and a human troubadour is an important part of the story. We have a DVD from my parents with this cartoon, and I was amazed to find it on YouTube with English subtitles. There is only one problem – getting my daughter to watch it. For two weeks now she refuses to watch anything but Sid the Science Kid.
We had some Bremen souvenirs since before Smarty was born. She was quite happy to lay her hands on them and retell the story in her own words: All the animals were going to die. Then they went away to Bremen, but they didn’t get there. They came to the dark forest and there were bad people there. Animals scared bad people away. Mama, did the bad people die?
For more geography and history, visit History/Geography linky at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn.


Kim said...

I loved that Bremen story when I was a child (I never knew it was a realy place!), and couldn't wait to read to Crumpet. We have it in a big collection of fairy tales. I have to admit, I was disappointed and a little disturbed by it as an adult!
I love that she catches you when you change the words in the story! Can't get anything past her!

Annette W. said...

This is a great post...sharing your real lives and teaching it too...

I think you will have to search out a better telling of the story!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Very interesting!

Ticia said...

I'll have to add Bremen to my list of places I want to visit if I ever get really really rich. Of course that list is very long, to actually visit all of these places I'll also need to live a long time......
My kids love to look at pictures of themselves as babies too.
I'll check to see what our copy of Bremen Town Musicians is because I remember it being fairly upbeat, maybe I"m off on that.

Julie said...

I have to say I find a lot of the old fairy tales to be depressing and scary. I'm not familiar with this one, but I'm not surprised. I do love how you incorporated your family history into your lessons!

I have an award for you on my blog:

min said...

I highly recommend The Bremen Town Musicians by Hans Wilhem. The author is native to Bremen too and the story and pictures are delightful!

Debbie said...

This sounds like a great study and that Anna connected with it very well. Selena loves to look at pictures of herself all the time.

Thank you for linking up!

Playing by the book said...

I've enjoyed reading several of your geography posts. You might like a recent geography project we did - about maps:
I don't know how much Anna is in to cars but you could use the shower curtain map with animals or dolls instead.