Life Cycle - Organisms (1B)
Post Lab 

  • Exploring the uses of animals.
  • Comparing animal uses.
  • organism
  • reproduce
  • respire
  • silk
  • wool
  • pictures of foods (milk, cheese, meats, eggs)
  • leather
  • alligator skin purse
  • snake skin decoration
  • feathered decorations
  • bone meal
  • organic fertilizer
  • pictures of draft animals, or any other items made from animals

Students discuss products from animals.


Animals are very useful to humans. Students are familiar with their pets, and that meat, milk, cheese, eggs, honey and some other animals products are used as food, but they many not have thought about other uses. Most have never seen a horse or ox drawn wagons and plows but they probably know about horse racing and riding for fun. Some cowboys still use horses, as do some park rangers and police. They many not have thought about leather, violin bows (made with horsehair) and strings (some made with sheep gut), silk, wool, alligator shoes and purses, snake skin hat bands, fur coats, pearls, glue and gelatin (made from cartilage and bones) fertilizer, or truffle-hunting pigs or the cormorants that some Chinese use for fishing.

Students were born a little late to see elephants raise a circus tent, and on the wrong continent to see them do other heavy work. It might be worthwhile to mention biological controls, such as mosquito fish that eat mosquito larvae around a marshy area and ladybugs that eat aphids and scales.

  1. Pass out to students one item at a time, and have them guess what part of the animal it may have come from. You may want to use the following examples:
  1. Feather: Feathers come from birds. They are used in pillows (down from geese), sometimes hats, and other decorations.  
  2. Leather Belt: Leather comes from the hide of a cow. It is processed and then made into different articles of clothing. It is very durable.  
  3. Shoes: Leather from different types of animals from cows to snakes.  
  4. Milk container: Milk comes from cows and goats.
  1. Discuss other animal uses. However, you might want to bring up the idea of us eating animals carefully. Some children have never thought about it and may be a little repulsed from the idea.
  2. Review which meats come from which animal (pork from pig, beef from cow, etc). Even invertebrate animals like lobsters, crabs, and sea urchins are used as food.
  3. Review which animals are used for transportation in underdeveloped countries today and in previous centuries. Include elephants (Africa, India), camels (Africa), horses, oxen, donkeys, and mules.
  4. Wool is used to make sweaters, pants, rugs, and many other clothes items. Silk comes from silk worms.
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