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Bémol — Oana Lacroix, 2021

The animals in this short story are woken every morning to the beautiful singing of a cheery bird. Her singing calms grumpy baby bears, quarrelling squirrels, and is generally appreciated by everyone. However, one morning, the forest awakens to find there is no song and the animals quickly discover the bird has fallen ill so is no longer able to sing the beautiful tune. They come together to find a way of helping the bird. Without the wonderful melody to keep them all calm, they quickly fall out and can’t decide the best way to support the bird. It falls to little bear to show them all the way to best help. By sharing their warmth and love, will the little bird be able to overcome her illness and sing again?

Classroom Activities

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  • Who is in the story? Which characters are really important? Which characters could be removed for the story to still make sense? Which characters shouldn’t be removed?
  • What is the story telling us? Is there a message? If so, what? How do we know this, what evidence do we have?
  • Where is the story set (country/place/time)? Does this matter? Would the story have to change if it was underwater/in Antarctica/a desert/on a ship/in school etc? How would that affect the story? Could the story be the same? What would have to change?
  • The title of the film is Bemól. It is a French musical word that means “flat”. What different meanings does flat have? Why do you think the director called it this? Again, what evidence is there to support this?
  • Play the film with a different soundtrack. Mute the film, start it playing, then in a separate browser tab play your track, then go back and click to watch film full screen. Does it make a difference? How does the mood of the film change? What words would you use to describe it? Soundtrack alternatives include: Nothing Else Matters, The Swan, Mars or Wayward Son (Click on the link for each track, they are set up to start at the correct point). Choose one or two that are appropriate for your pupils.


  • Discuss, and then make a list, of the people who help us in our lives.
  • What do we do in the class to help others? What things does the teacher do? Why should we help others?
  • Make a list of the things that make you happy. This could be a mixture of physical things (favourite teddy etc.) and experiences (hugging parent/carer, visit to the zoo etc.)
  • Watch from 00:54 and pause at 01:11. What reasons does the bird have for being sad? How can you tell? What makes him/her different? Does this effect the story later on?
  • In pairs, find 10 things that makes you different from your partner. Then find 10 similarities. Are differences a positive or negative thing? Why? What would happen if we were all the same? What if everyone was just as good as each other at football, swimming or maths. Would there be pros and cons?
  • How is the bird different from the other birds? Make two lists with the pros and cons of the bird being different.
  • In the film, the bird finds it difficult to make friends with the other birds, but has a variety of other friends including the squirrels, bears, swans etc. Think of friends you have where you have some different interests. Why don't different interests make friendships problematic?



  • Create a story that has the same plot (someone makes other characters happy, something happens to them to prevent this, everyone helps them) either using the same characters but a different main character, or a different set of characters entirely.
  • Draw the main bird character on paper. Discuss their looks and their personality. Write words that describe the character around the drawing. Use this to a description of the bird.
  • Create/design a new character for the story. The character must fit within the scene and the current characters and feel part of the story.
  • Create a set of guidelines (Dos) for the class to follow that would encourage others to support and care for each other. E.g. “Do encourage others when they are stuck”, “Do use kind words when speaking to others”.


  • Design something that would help the bird avoid getting ill in the future from the wet and cold. This might be a jumper or other item of clothing, or it might be a structure/shelter.


  • Create a diagram/mind map with your name at the center (A3). Round your name draw/write things you are interested in (e.g. roller blading, walking, playing video games etc.) Then add your friends around this. Beside each of your friends, write or draw the things your friends like. Link similar interests with a coloured pencil/pen line (e.g. if you like football and so do some friends, then you might choose a blue coloured line to connect these together etc.)


  • The animals all fall out in the story. How could this have been avoided? Invent a set of strategies to help the animals deal specifically with any conflicts that might happen in the future.

Clip Details

Year of Production 2021
Genre Animation
Curriculum Areas Expressive Arts, Health and Wellbeing, Modern Languages, Literacy and English, Religious and Moral Education
Director Oana Lacroix
Country of Origin Switzerland
Medium / Content 2D Animation, Fiction, Colour, Sound, No Dialogue
Themes Relationships, Health, Culture / Society, Work / Ambition, Food / Environment
Clip Length 05:47
Clip Length 05:47
Age Group P1-P4