BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

20 February 2015

BBC Homepage
BBC NI Schools

Magic Attic Home

English Version
Which Way?
Journey of a Loaf

PDF Notes
PDF Worksheets
Irish Version

Contact Us

Programme 5 - Journey of a Loaf - 12th October

SELB code: TE1261 Although the series has finished, you can still search for programme information, teacher notes and worksheets in website. Programmes are still available to borrow or purchase from the Audio Visual Recording service at SELB. Just quote the SELB number in your correspondence with the unit.

Image from the Series

Life-cycle of a loaf of bread, from the wheat fields of Canada, via Belfast Docks and the Ormeau Bakery to the supermarket shelves.
"Harold Scabbyknees" by Bernagh Brims


Big Loaf Rap   by Chris Ward

Brown bread, white bread, soda bread and pan
No one makes potato bread the way the baker can
Barmbrack, wheaten farls, big white baps
‘Cos the bread is on its way

Cut the wheat when it’s ready to eat
Take it down the hill to the rolling mill
Crush it with power ‘till you get the flour
‘Cos the bread is on its way

You gotta go slow when you mix that dough
Use water and yeast, make it ready for the feast
Then grease that tin and slap it in
‘Cos the bread is on its way

Brown bread, white bread, soda bread and pan
No one makes potato bread the way the baker can
Barmbrack, wheaten farls, big white baps
‘Cos the bread in on its way

How long does it take for a loaf to bake
In the oven’s hot fire, turn the gas up higher
You won’t believe your eyes when the dough starts to rise
‘Cos the bread is on its way

Now what have we got when its fresh and hot
There ain’t no dust on my crunchy crust
Tell me if it’s nice and I’ll cut another slice
‘Cos the bread is on its way

Brown bread, white bread, soda bread and pan
No one make potato bread the way the baker can
Barmbrack, wheaten farls, big white baps
‘Cos the bread is on its way

Before the Programme

Make a collection of samples of various types of bread; discuss the qualities of each.

Carry out a class or school survey of preferences in types of bread.

Examine the ingredients section of bread wrappers to find out what goes into a loaf.

Use a simple recipe, and the help of the cook, to make their own bread.

Identify the countries of origin of some of the ingredients; plot these on wallmap.

Discuss the jobs involved in producing a loaf and delivering it to a shop.

After the Programme

Visit a bakery to see the ingredients of a loaf coming together, baking taking place and the finished article being wrapped.

Visit a supermarket to find out how popular some types of loaf are.

Discuss different jobs and forms of transport involved in bringing a loaf to a shop shelf/to your door.

Put into the correct sequence some picture/diagrams depicting the journey of a loaf (see worksheet 9).

Investigate the same ideas regarding another product such as milk.

Links with other curricular areas


  • Give instructions, express opinions; listen to instructions, consider the opinions of others.
  • Play roles related to jobs investigated in fieldwork visit to bakery. Describe sights, sounds, smells encountered in class bakery/on visit to bakery.
  • Read for information and instruction eg simple recipe, lists of ingredients.
  • Read environmental print eg notices in factory/shop.
  • Write stories/poems based on knowledge and understanding gained about the journey of a loaf.
  • Write letters of request/thanks to cook/bakery/shop.
  • Write simple notes recording thoughts/observations while on fieldwork.
  • Learn new vocabulary and spellings - sandwich, flask, tea, cheese, tomato etc.
  • Write a description of favourite lunch box contents including drink. Discuss uses of bread other than sandwiches - toast, puddings and poultice.
  • Discuss the moral implications of ‘Harold Scabbyknees’ (ie Did he deliberately cheat the shopkeeper? Should he have admitted he hadn’t cut his knees on her doorstep? What would his mother feel about her ‘present’?)


  • Make sensible estimates of small numbers of items eg number loaves in one tray.
  • Know the meaning of kilogram.
  • Sequence events in the production of a loaf.
  • Collect and record data which would assist in the sequencing of events. Extract information from an increasing range of charts, diagrams and tables relating to the production/journey of a loaf.
  • Enter and access information, eg number of loaves sold, in a simple database.


  • Identify obvious differences between past and present in making, transporting and selling loaves.
  • Sequence pictures, diagrams, simple verbal descriptions of the various stages in the journey of a loaf. Find out when cereals were first used by people.
  • Learn about grinding of cereals using querns - use pictures. Try grinding wheat or barley between two stones.
  • Use old pictures to learn about cereal farming and milling in the past. Use old pictures to learn about baking in the past.


  • Work with a range of materials eg the ingredients necessary to make their loaf. Explore the properties of these materials. Observe the effects of extreme heat upon their mixture. Find out about some uses of, and the dangers of, electricity. Study the effect of yeast and baking soda plus buttermilk (acid) on dough.
  • Add acetic acid (vinegar) to sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and observe the bubbling -listen to the hiss. Discuss what the bubbles of gas would do to the dough.
  • Find out how cereal plants use sunshine energy to grow and make flour. Learn about and recognise wheat, oats, barley, rye and maize. Grow cereals from seed on sunny windowsills, To find out what happens to seeds underground use a cylinder of blotting paper to line a glass jar. Fill the jar with damp paper, sawdust or peat. This keeps the paper pressed against the glass and provides the dampness needed to germinate the seeds. Place seeds between the paper and the glass and put the jar in a warm cupboard. Examine every day and do not allow the paper to dry out. When the seeds germinate record their progress each day and measure the growth of root and shoot. Note that the shoot grows upwards and the root grows downwards - even when the jar is turned upside down.
  • Find out how we use flour to make energy and grow - our digestive system.
  • Discuss how a pot of tea is made - dissolving and solution.
  • Find out how a flask keeps liquids hot or cold.
  • Discuss all of the foods mentioned in the programme and find out about their production.


  • Find out about the tea plant and the production of tea.
  • Find out where tea comes from and how it gets here.
  • Types of bread from other countries - baguette, pitta, nan

Art / Design:

  • Observe and record change in the loaf mixture - become aware of colours, shapes, textures relating to different types of bread.
  • Make models from dough and damp bread - paint when dry.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy