Zoology: (first circle)

Need for lesson - Pictures of a silkworms and mulberry leaves, and some pieces of silk fabric. (Insectlore sells silkworm eggs if you would like to have real ones. You just would need to have mulberry leaves available for them. Artificial silkworm food can also be ordered from mulberryfarms.com.)

Index File Card

can be pasted onto an index file card for quick reference


Zoology 44

Today we are going to talk about  silkworms. What kind of invertebrate do you think a silkworm is? Is it a kind of worm? Actually silkworms are insects. What do we know about insects? A silkworm hatches from an egg and comes out to look like a caterpillar. They go through metamorphosis and change into a silkworm moth. The stages of metamorphosis are the egg, larva (silkworm caterpillar), pupa, and then the change to a silkworm moth inside of their cocoon.

The only thing silkworms eat are mulberry leaves. They do not drink any water, but get their moisture, from the leaves.

Their cocoons are special because they make it with silk threads. They spin cocoons made of silk.  They create a silk thread that can be nearly 3000 feet long. Silkworms work constantly to create the layers of their cocoons. It takes about two days for them to complete their job.

There are what is called silkworm farmers. They raise silkworms to gather their cocoons. They  take them to a silk factory or the farmers themselves may make silk from the threads of the cocoons. Sometimes this is done by hand or by machines. The cocoons are soaked in water to loosen the threads of the cocoons. A person finds the end of thread and places it onto a winding bobbin.  Then a machine unrolls the cocoon. They connect this to about five other cocoon threads and spin them all together to make one silk thread. This thread is woven into cloth  which can be dyed into beautiful colors. These are some samples of the silk cloth. Isn't it amazing to think that a silkworm's threads from his cocoon are what these silk fabrics are made from?



Silkworm Picture (from: Silkworm Moths by Dina Drits)


Silkworm Moth (from: Silkworm Moths by Dina Drits)

Additional Works:

Fabric Matching  - Cut two squares of different silk fabrics for a matching work.


Silkworm Poem (from suekayton.com)

I saw a tiny silkworm, it had a funny name.
My teacher called it larva, but it wiggled all the same.
One day it changed from hairy to smooth, from black to very white.
It's body was much bigger too, and it did it overnight!
It changed like this, just three more times
And always in between, it ate and ate and ate, mulberry leaves so green.
One day it stopped, and started to spin, a shiny silken thread
Around and round in figure eights, it moved it's little head.
It made a cocoon so snowy white, its neighbors made theirs yellow and bright.
And then inside, where none could see, a pupa formed, my teacher told me.
One day it pushed from its cocoon, how different it looked now.
It fluttered about on little wings, a silkworm moth, but how?
It laid so many golden eggs, near its white empty cocoon
I wondered when the larva would hatch, would it be very soon?
Egg to larva to pupa to adult, its a strange strange way
To change from being born into a grown-up moth I'd say!


Silkworm Song (from suekayton.com)

I am a  silkworm, I am a silkworm
Brown and white, brown and white
I like to eat leaves day and night.
I spin a silk thread into a cocoon
I am a silkworm, please feed me soon!
I am a silkworm, I wiggle and squirm,
Cocoons don't take long, as you will learn.
Now I make a hole and climb right out,
I was a silkworm, now I'm a moth!
I am a moth, brown and white,
I lay tiny eggs, their colors are bright.
I like to fly around, happiness I bring.
I am a silkworm, see you next Spring!

Music: (second circle)

Need for lesson - The book, Carnival of the Animals with CD

Continue listening to the CD highlighting instruments played.


Carnival of the Animals (listening to the CD and matching the animals during music)