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Farm animals assembly

Aims and objectives

To understand that because farm animals give us so many of the things that we come across in our daily lives, humans should make sure that they have everything that they need to be happy and healthy.


You will need

Equipment

  • Collection of items made from animal products. Suggested items: box of eggs, packet of sausages, pair of woollen gloves, carton of milk, pack of bacon, pair of leather shoes, cake containing eggs, packet of chicken nuggets, some lamb chops, piece of cheese - all in a bag or basket
  • Items of clothing to represent two farmers, e.g. wellington boots, scarves, caps, anoraks
  • Four hoops

Introduction

  • Explain to the pupils that you have been shopping and bought lots of things that you need. It has made you think about the animals that helped to make them.
  • Ask four pupils to come out to the front to wear one of the masks, each representing one of the farm animals.
  • Take each product out of the bag in turn and ask the pupils to vote for which farm animal they think it came from. Once agreed, give that product to the relevant ‘animal’ to hold.
  • When the bag is empty, look at all of the products that each animal made. Explain that, as these animals make so many things for us, it is important that we make sure that they have happy lives and have all the things that they need including:

    1. the right type of food and fresh water
    2. somewhere comfortable to rest
    3. to be treated by a vet if they are ill or injured
    4. company of animals of their own kind, space to move around and to be able to do things they like
    5. gentle and caring handling and treatment.
  • Introduce the animals’ needs logos to go with these (see factsheet Animals’ needs).

Main issues and problems

  • Show the pupils the picture of meat chickens (see image in Downloads tab) and ask them what they know about chickens, e.g. what do they like to do?
  • Ask for a pupil to volunteer to be Farmer Bill, who then takes two hoops and goes to stand at one side of the room, putting the hoops on the floor in front of him. Ask for another volunteer to be Farmer Brenda, who goes to stand at the other side of the room with the other two hoops. Explain that both farmers keep meat chickens.
  • Describe the farm owned by Farmer Bill. He keeps as many chickens as he is allowed to on his farm, so sometimes they are a bit overcrowded. (Ask four pupils to stand in each hoop in front of Bill. They will be squashed so will need to hold on to each other to stand up). There are no perches or anything else so the chickens have to stay on the floor all the time with nothing to do. Bill sells the chickens from his farm very cheaply.
  • Describe the farm owned by Farmer Brenda. Brenda keeps fewer chickens on her farm so they have a bit more space (Ask two pupils to stand in each hoop in front of Brenda). Brenda’s chickens have perches and footballs to play with. Because of this, Brenda has to charge a bit more for her chickens when she sells them.
  • Go back to the animals’ needs logos and explore with the pupils whether the chickens on both farms have all those things. Ask the ‘chickens’ which farm they would prefer to live on and then to go and stand at the farm where they’d prefer to be.


What can we do? 

  • Sometimes when we buy food, the label tells us that the animals who made that product were kept to higher welfare standards. Can anyone think of any examples? The pupils may know about free-range hens and some may have seen the RSPCA Assured label. Show the logo (see teachers' notes RSPCA Assured logo).
  • When you see the RSPCA Assured logo, it means that the farm has been inspected to the RSPCA’s higher welfare standards, and the animals are more likely to be happy and healthy, like the chickens on Farmer Brenda’s farm.
  • Next time you visit a shop that sells food coming from animals, have a look at the labels and see what they tell you about how the animals were looked after.
  • Finish by singing the Happy Chicken Song (to the tune of If you’re happy and you know it…)

    If you’re happy and you know it, flap your wings (flap, flap)
    If you’re happy and you know it, flap your wings (flap, flap)
    If you’re happy and you know it, and you really want to show it
    If you’re happy and you know it, flap your wings (flap, flap)
    If you’re happy and you know it, peck the ground (peck, peck), etc.
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