Dairy Farm Visits: pre-visit activities

Six activites for KS1 and KS2 that can be used in preparation for a farm visit. Some are tailored to dairy farming, but could be adapted to other types of farm.

1. Are we there yet?

To know how long a journey is going to take you need to know where you are and where you are going!

  • Using the outline map of the UK (Activity Sheet 1), can you find where your school is located? Draw a small picture on the map to show where your school is.
  • Can you guess where the farm that you're going to visit is? Place an 'X' on the map where you think the farm may be. How close were you to guessing the correct location of the farm? Now, with the correct address for the farm, draw a small picture on the map of the UK to show where you can find the farm (the picture can be of a small farmhouse, a cow, a farmer or something that you think represents a farm).
  • Use an Ordnance Survey map or Google Earth (http://earth.google.com or http://getamap.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/getamap/map.htm/), and try to find your school and the farm. What can you see around the two locations? Are there fields, roads, rivers, hills or towns? On your map, draw and colour the fields, roads, rivers, hills and towns for your school and the farm. Can you find out how far it is from your school to the farm? (You might like to use ww.geobytes.com/citydistancetool.htm to help you with this.)

2. What surrounds your farm?

You may have an idea of what you would expect to find near a farm, but what is really in the area round your farm?

  • Using an Ordnance Survey map or Google Earth (http://earth.google.com or http://getamap.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/getamap/map.htm/), find the farm you are going to visit. Can you identify landmarks or features such as a place of worship, post office, windmill,  orchard, wood, public house, National Trust property, quarry or railway?
  • Use the grid map (Activity Sheet 2) and draw a small picture of your farm on the map. Now, add to the map all the other landmarks and features that you have identified around the farm. Try to use pictures that are similar to those used by the Ordnance Survey maps.
  • Can you help other people locate the features and landmarks that you have identified by adding numbers and letters to your grid map to provide reference points?
  • Make a list of grid-reference points that show landmarks and features that you have drawn on your map. Give the list of grid references to a friend and see if they can find the objects that you have drawn.

3. It's a cow's life

To produce the best-quality milk a cow needs to live on a farm that will provide all the food and care it needs.

  • Look at the five pictures on the 'Where on earth?' worksheet (Activity Sheet 3). Which would be the most suitable place for a dairy farm? Draw a line from the cow to the picture that shows where you think the cow would most like to live.
  • When you have chosen the most suitable location, why not draw or paint your own picture of somewhere a cow would like to live?

4. What is at the farm?

Many animals live on a farm and, if you look carefully, you may even find some creatures that you didn't expect to see!

  • Use the 'On the farm' worksheets (Activity Sheets 4a-c), and try to identify which animals live on the farm, which animals live in a hedgerow and which animals live in or on a pond.
  • Choose one animal from the farm, hedgerow and pond and try to find out what type of habitat it likes to live in. Do you think the animals prefer to be hot or cold, like to be in light or dark, or like a wet or dry habitat? Using the 'thermometers' on the 'Habitats' worksheet (Activity Sheet 4d),  draw a line on the thermometers to show what type of habitat you think each animal would like best. 
  • What habitat do you think a cow would like best? The cows depend on the farmer for lots of things and the farmer depends on the cow for other things! Look carefully at the words on the 'Interdependence' worksheet (Activity Sheet 4e) and write them in the correct column.

5. A farmyard poem

Putting what we see into words is sometimes really difficult to do. Before you visit the farm, what do you think you will see, hear, smell? What will you touch (and what shouldn't you touch?) and what might you taste?

  • Look at the five senses on the 'Does it make sense?' worksheet (Activity Sheet 5). Below each sense make a list of all the words that you would associate with that sense. For example, under 'Touch', you might list: rough, smooth, lumpy, and cold. See how many words you can think of for each sense.
  • Write a five-line poem where each line uses one of the five senses: see, taste, smell, hear and touch. The topic can be the farm, a cow or a carton of yogurt! Can you write a poem for each topic? (Pupils can use the columns as a word bank for writing the poem.)
  • Most children should be familiar with the haiku. It is a poem that originated in Japan consisting of 17 syllables, arranged in three lines of five, seven and five. In its original form a haiku would always allude to the season in which it was written, so it makes a good choice for a poem based around a season on the farm. Ask the children to imagine a day on the farm during a season eg feeding cattle on a winter's day. Ask them to write short sentences that describe the day as they imagine it might be (the sentences do not need to be in a haiku format yet). Taking the sentences as a guide, work the storyline into a haiku. There are many web sites that contain examples of a haiku to give the children an idea of how they are constructed.

6. Keeping safe

When visiting any working environment it is really important to keep safe at all times. 

  • Use the worksheet 'Have a safe trip!' (Activity Sheet 6) to agree five rules for keeping safe during your visit to the farm.


Curriculum links

Activity 1 KS1& 2 Geography, Maths
Activity 2 KS1&2 Geography, Maths
Activity 3 KS1&2 Geography
Activity 4 KS1&2 Geography, Science
Activity 5 KS1&2 Science, English
Activity 6 KS1&2 PSHE & Citizenship