This activity is about the origins of milk and how it is produced in the UK.
Explain to the children that they will be investigating where milk comes from. To set the scene, as children the following:
- Where does our milk come from?
- What animal provides our milk? (Note, other animals also provide milk in smaller quantities, e.g. sheep and goat.)
- Where do the cows live? (They live on a farm and are reared by a farmer.)
- How does the milk get from the cows (the farm) to the shops for us to purchase?
- Can we drink the milk straight from the cow? (No, it needs to be processed.)
If children are struggling with these questions, show children the From glass to grass poster or the The journey of milk frieze to help stimulate discussion.
Use the Milk production presentation to go through the main stages of milk production in the UK. Ask pupils to complete the Milk production worksheet.
Key points include:
- Dairy cow are reared by farmers around the UK.
- The farmer looks after the dairy farms.
- The dairy cows are milked two-three times a day.
- The milk is taken from the farm to be processed.
- The milk is treated to make it safe to drink and put into bottles or cartons.
- The fresh milk is for sale in shops.
- Display a selection of dairy food, such as milk, yogurt and cheese. Ask the children to name each food. You could set-up a tasting session.
- Using the Milk production presentation as a basis, ask children to create a display in the classroom of the stages of milk production. Small groups can focus on particular stages or important themes, such as looking after the environment or the products made from milk.
- Use the Learn with story: The farm visit to introduce dairy farming to the children. The resource comprises a story, along with a number of worksheets and support materials. Click here.
- Use the A year on the dairy farm poster to show the children what happens on a dairy farm throughout the year. Highlight what happens in the four seasons.
- Arrange a visit to a dairy farm. Allow the children to use the My dairy farm visit booklet to record their experiences.
- Make a recipe containing milk, yogurt or cheese. Click here to go to the recipe section.