Silk From Worm Spit? – WATCH THE VIDEO & ANSWER THE QUESTIONS
Here in the village of Ban Aung Sue groups of locals are continuing the tradition of their ancestors by hand-weaving high quality silk. Thai silk is reputedly some of the best in the world and to create the finest fabric they start with the best bugs- they are called bombyx mori, better known as silk worms. Beginning life as eggs the size of a pinhead once they’ve hatched they start fattening themselves up. The hard part is keeping them fed. To mature into silk-producing larvae, these bugs will multiply their weight ten thousand times. If they were human, they’d weigh 70,000 pounds by the time they were a month old.
Silk worms are strict vegetarians and they will only eat fresh, hand picked mulberry leaves. These worms will consume more than two tons in just a week on this farm. After forty days and forty nights of non-stop eating the larvae are ready to begin the serious work of weaving a cocoon designed to protect them as they mature into moths. The silk cocoon is actually made from one long continuous stream of bug saliva. Each caterpillar must produce nearly half a mile of silk to cover itself. After three of four days of non-stop knitting, the cocoon is ready. But that silk isn’t worth any money while its still wrapped around a worm. Other animals such as spiders and bees also produce silk, but its silk worms that can be used for manufacturing because they don’t run away when you try stealing their web.
1) The main idea of this video is _____________.
2) One cocoon is made from a continuous thread of silk that is about _____________ in length.
3) The scientific name of this caterpillar is _____________ or just a _____________.
4) The name of the country where this video takes place is _____________.
5) After _____________ (how many days?) a caterpillar will eat as much food to gain _____________ times its weight.
6) The caterpillar only eats _____________, which makes it an _____________.
7) Other animals that make silk are _____________ and _____________.
8) Silk is actually made from _____________.
9) The eggs are the size of _____________.
10) Silk worms begin to eat _____________.
WORD & PHRASE BANK (not all words will be used):
Japan / mulberry leaves / saliva / bees / as soon as they are hatched / one-half mile / silk worm / silk worms / how silk is made / bombyx mori / a pin head / spiders / Thailand / herbivore / ten thousand / forty days & forty nights / kimono / Mt. Fuji / 70,000 / two tons / carnivore / one meter / kabuki / pad thai / srirachi sauce
What does the phrase “continuing the tradition of their ancestors” mean in the first sentence of the video?
Further suggested reading:
- The History of Silk
- The Silk Road: The story of one of the world’s oldest and most historically important trade routes and its influences on the culture of China, Central Asia and the West
- Duckster’s Silk Road for Kids
- Sounds of the Silk Road: American Museum of Natural History
- Silk Road by Mr. Donn