Dairy Farm Visit: post-visit activities

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

1. Dairy diary

Your visit to the farm will have been full of new sights, sounds and smells! Can you remember them all?

  • Using all the information that you collected during your trip to the farm, make a list of twelve statements on the worksheet 'Statements' (Activity Sheet 1) that tell the story of your visit.
  • Based on the twelve statements you have made, use the 'Storyboard' worksheet (Activity
    Sheet 2) and either draw or use words (nouns, adjectives) in each box that tell the story of your visit to the farm. For example, your first box on the storyboard would be all about your first sight of the farm - what did you see, hear, smell? Once you have completed your storyboard, why not cut out the squares, shuffle them and ask someone else to try and put them into the correct
  • Look at your twelve statements, and the storyboard you have created, and use them to help make a presentation using a suitable computer programme (eg. PowerPoint). If you have taken photos of your visit then add these to your presentation along with any quotes from the farmer or workers on the farm.

2. Footprints

It can be amazing how much you can find out about the farm by visiting. What animals did you see? Did you find any evidence of other animal visitors to the farm?

  • Take a look at the 'Footprints' worksheet (Activity Sheet 3), can you match the footprints to the correct animal?
  • Answers: 1 = Badger, 2 = Cow, 3 = Dog, 4 = Duck, 5 = Farmer, 6 = Cat, 7 =  Squirrel, 8 = Crow
  • Using the animal footprints, try and make a 'footprint' picture of each animal that you saw at the farm. You might like to use the footprints from all of the animals to make a picture of a cow, or you might like to use only cow footprints for the cow and duck footprints for the duck and so on.
  • Design a screensaver or wallpaper for use on the computer using the animal footprints and images of the plants and flowers that can be found on the farm.

3. Biodiversity

Farmers have worked very hard to create a variety of habitats for plants and wildlife while looking after their animals and growing a range of crops.

  • The 'Bio-match?' worksheet (Activity Sheet 4) shows five ways in which farmers have worked to help plants and wildlife. Can you match the activity with the correct explanation for the activity?
  • Answers: 1 = B, 2 = E, 3 = D, 4 = A, 5= C
  • 'Biodiversity' is two words,biological and diversity, put together. Choose one of the habitats that you looked at during your farm visit - it might be a freshwater pond, meadowland, woodland
    or even a garden. Can you help other people understand what biodiversity means by creating an acrostic about the habitat of your choice? Create your acrostic using the 'Bio-crostic!' worksheet (Activity Sheet 5).

4. Miles of food?

Did you know that almost half the vegetables and 95 per cent of the fruit eaten in the UK comes from beyond our shores? The food we eat comes from all over the world. The distance our food travels is called food miles, which is the distance from where it is grown to where it is bought and eaten.

  • Collect or make a list of food packaging and labels from home to find out which countries your food has come from. Do you have examples of the same food but from different countries? Draw or print a map of the world. Look at your list or food labels and draw a line on your map from the country where the food was produced to the UK. Can you roughly measure the distance from the country where it was grown to the UK?
  • What is your favourite meal? Make a list of all the ingredients that form your favourite meal. Which countries do those ingredients come from? Calculate the distance between the UK and the countries where the ingredients were produced. Work out the distance for each ingredient and then add all the miles together to show the total number of miles that the ingredients have
    travelled to make your favourite meal. Produce a poster showing your favourite meal, all the ingredients and how many miles each item has travelled to reach your plate.
  • Look at the 'Miles of food' worksheet (Activity Sheet 6). Can you find which country produces each of the food items on the list? How many miles is that country from the UK? How does the food travel to the UK, by truck, ship or air? How many megajoules are consumed by each food item on its journey to the UK? The worksheet will help you to calculate this. You might like to look at: http://www.i-sis.org.uk/FMAS.php for lots more information on food miles. Why is it necessary to source some foods from other countries? (You might want to consider cost, availability - season and climate, quantity required and quality). Can you find local sources for any, or all, of the food items on the list? Why is it difficult (and expensive) to grow some of the plants for the foods on the list in the UK? 

5. A farm story

Your visit to the farm was a special day. The farmer will have enjoyed your visit too, but he will be on the farm the next day, and the day after that. What do you think happens on the farm each day? Did you hear about a special day on the farm or a strange day perhaps?

  • It's now your turn to tell a story about the farm. The story might be based on your visit, or a special day for the farm. You could make up a story about a very strange event at the farm or even something slightly mysterious! Use the pictures and words on the 'A Farm Story' worksheet (Activity Sheet 7) to help you create the story.
  • Cut out the pictures and words. You might like to paste them onto card. Once you have finished cutting out the pictures and words, put the pictures in one pile and the words in another pile. Make sure that the pictures and words are shuffled and placed face down on the table. In your group each person takes one picture card and one word card. When everyone has their two cards, you have one minute to look at the cards and think how you can make part of a story from them. Choose one person to start the story and they have twenty seconds to begin the story starting with their word card and the picture. After twenty seconds the next person continues the story, beginning with their word card and using the picture card for their twenty seconds. The story continues around the group with each person having twenty seconds to make up their part of the story based upon their word and picture cards.
  • This activity is based upon the previous story game. The directions for telling the story are the same but with an added twist. This time the word cards also include direction cards eg. 'Pass to the right', 'Mime', 'Pass to the left', 'Choose another person' and 'Include the name of the person next to you in the story'. For example, if it's your turn to tell part of the story, and the person on your right has just finished their part and you have a 'Pass to the right' card, then that person has another turn at telling part of the story. That person cannot repeat what they have just said but must use their picture and word cards to add something different to the part of the story they have just told everyone! Can you think of any other 'directions' to include?

6. Where have all the cows gone?

It is important that cows get milked on time, but first you have to find them all.

  • This activity is based upon the game of 'Battleships'. In pairs, use the worksheet 'Where have all the cows gone?' (Activity Sheet 8). Each person has to place ten cows somewhere on the grid - without letting the other person see where they are! Taking it in turns, each person has to try and find their cows by asking whether the cows can be found in grid square A9 or not. If the cow is in that square then that leaves just nine more cows to find in time for milking! The first person to find all ten cows is the winner.
  • The game can be made more interesting by allowing each person to add other items to
    the grid squares such as a shoe, duck, a wellington boot, tree and a tractor.

Curriculum links

Activity 1 KS1 and 2 English, ICT
Activity 2 KS1 and 2 Geography
Activity 3 KS1 and 2 Science, English
Activity4 KS1 and 2 Geography, English
Activity5 KS1 and 2 Geography