Lesson Plans

Welcome to the “Lesson Plans” section of the website. Here you will find all the teaching resources, educational videos and interactive lesson plans you will need to bring Moo Crew to life in your classroom.

PLAY VIDEO

Lesson 4: Cheese up Your Life

Welcome to Lesson Plan 4: Cheese Up Your Life! , designed to teach pupils about the process of cheese production and all the steps involved in the process. Download the lesson plans for Infant, Junior and Senior classes below!

LESSON PLAN: Infant
VIEW

OBJECTIVE

To help pupils understand where cheese comes from and the process of cheese production.
Duration: 30 minutes (approximately).

CIRRICULAR LINKS

WORDS OF THE DAY

Pasteurisation: Involves heating the milk to a high temperature for a short time (e.g. 72° Celsius for 15 seconds), and then cooling it really quickly.
Cheddar: A type of hard cheese that can be white or red.
Edam: A white cheese with a bright red cover.
Soft Cheese: Usually white in colour and spreadable.

CLASSROOM DISCUSSION

Introduction

Discuss with your pupils the different types of cheese they have tried.

Cheese Making in Ireland

Ireland has been famous as a producer of great dairy products for a very long time. Dairy products have been an important part of the Irish diet since prehistoric times (back when there were cavemen).

Irish butter has always been very popular but cheese production has become more common in the last 40 years (when many of your parents were your age). Today, lots and lots of people are making cheese in Ireland for us to eat and also to send to other countries.

Irish dairy cows graze on more grass and for longer over the year than dairy herds almost anywhere else in the world. This is what makes our cheese so tasty!

The Story of Cheddar Cheese – From Farm to Fridge

  1. Cheddar cheese is made during the spring, summer and autumn months. This is when the cows are out in the fields and eating fresh grass which gives the Cheddar a lovely flavour and yellow colour.
  2. The milk is brought in tankers to the cheese factory. It is pasteurised and put into large containers known as vats, where it is kept warm. Pasteurisation is heating the milk to a very high temperature for a short time, and then cooling it really quickly.
  3. The milk is processed and friendly bacteria are added. It is heated and then cooled again using special machines.
  4. The cheese is cut into blocks before it goes into the chill store (a big cold room) for 24 hours where it is cooled down. It is then stored in a cool room for 6 – 12 months until it is ready to eat. It won’t leave the cheese store until a very important person called a cheese grader is satisfied that it is perfect.
  5. So the next time you are enjoying a piece of cheese, you can be sure you are eating a high quality, nutritious and tasty product.

Did You Know?

Cheddar cheese is part of the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group in the Food Pyramid (refer to ‘Healthy Eating’ lesson plan). Three servings are recommended per day from this food group for children aged 5 – 8 years, with five daily servings recommended for those aged 9 – 18 years. Examples of a serving include 200ml of milk, 125g of yogurt or a 25g piece of Cheddar cheese.

Cheddar cheese provides many important nutrients such as calcium, protein, phosphorus and vitamin B12.


Activity

Say Cheese!

Irish Cheddar cheese is one of our most delicious foods. Grate it, slice it, cube it, or melt it! It’s perfect for the lunchbox, as a snack, or adding to meals.

Ask the pupils in your class what their favourite cheesy meal is. Ask them to draw a picture of it and try to write some of the key ingredients. Bring in some different types of cheese for the class to taste and talk about.


Bring It Home

Cheese up your life at home!

Adding 25g of Cheddar cheese to a pasta dish, a mixed salad or an omelette is a ‘grate’ way to get one of your recommended servings from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group!

What other recipes can you cook which include cheese?

  • Cheesy beans on toast
  • Jacket potatoes with cheese
  • Homemade pizza
  • Savoury pancakes
  • Quiche
  • Cheese scones
LESSON PLAN: Junior
VIEW

OBJECTIVE

To help pupils understand where cheese comes from and the process of cheese production.
Duration: 30 minutes (approximately).

CIRRICULAR LINKS

WORDS OF THE DAY

Pasteurisation: Involves heating the milk to a high temperature for a short time (e.g. 72° Celsius for 15 seconds), and then cooling it really quickly.
Starter Bacteria: This is a culture of bacteria which changes the sugar in milk (lactose) into lactic acid. This helps to add flavour to the cheese.
Rennet: This enzyme is a natural extract from the stomach of a calf. Rennet causes the curd to form during cheese production.
Curd: This is what cheese is made from. It is solidified milk which is then cut and this action releases the whey.
Whey: This is the extra liquid which comes from the curd. The whey is released when the curd is cut but it is drained away because it is not needed for making cheese. However, whey can be used to make other food products.
Enzyme: A group of proteins made by living cells.
Biestings: The first milk produced by a cow after giving birth to a calf.

CLASSROOM DISCUSSION

Cheese Making in Ireland

Ireland has for a long time been famous as a producer of quality dairy products. There are more than 17,000 dairy farms in Ireland, producing 5 billion litres of milk per year. Dairy products have been an important part of the Irish diet since prehistoric times.

Because so many people wanted Irish butter, both here and abroad, the cheese-making industry in Ireland was almost extinct by the nineteenth century. However, cheese-making became very popular again in the 1970’s and today it is a very successful industry.

Some of the different types of cheese made in the past were:

  • Faiscre grotha, which is like the cottage cheese we get today
  • A sweet curd cheese using rennet was called Millsen
  • Maothal cheese was made of biestings
  • Mulchan, made from buttermilk
  • A type of hard cheese called Tanach

The secret to Ireland’s quality cheese-making begins in its pasturelands (fields). Irish dairy cows graze on more grass and for longer over the year than dairy herds almost anywhere else in the world.

The Story of Cheddar Cheese – From Farm to Fridge

  1. Cheddar cheese is made during the spring, summer and autumn months. This is when the cows are out in the fields and eating fresh grass which gives the Cheddar a lovely flavour and yellow colour.
  2. The milk is brought in tankers to the cheese factory and is pasteurised and put into vats where it is kept warm.
  3. First, friendly bacteria are added to the milk. These heat the milk sugars which help to preserve the cheese. Rennet is then added. Rennet is an enzyme that allows the milk to set. It is left to set for a period of 40-45 minutes.
  4. The curd is then cut when the milk is firm and allowed to stand.
  5. The curds and whey are then stirred gently while the temperature is increased.
  6. The curds and whey are then pumped over to a special machine. This machine drains the whey. The curd fuses together and is then milled. Salt is added to give flavour and texture to the cheese and helps preserve it.
  7. The cheese is cut into blocks before it goes into the chill store for 24 hours where it is cooled down. It is then stored in a cool room to ripen for 6 – 12 months. It won’t leave the cheese store until the cheese grader is satisfied that it is a first class piece of Cheddar.
  8. So the next time you are enjoying a piece of cheese, you can be sure you are eating a high quality, nutritious and tasty product.

Did You Know?

Cheddar cheese is part of the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group in the Food Pyramid (refer to ‘Healthy Eating’ lesson plan). Three servings are recommended per day from this food group for children aged 5-8 years, with five daily servings recommended for those aged 9-18 years. Examples of a serving include 200ml of milk, 125g of yogurt or a 25g (about a match-box size) piece of Cheddar cheese.

Cheddar cheese provides many important nutrients such as calcium, protein, phosphorus and vitamin B12.


Activity

Say Cheese!

Irish Cheddar cheese is one of our most delicious foods. Grate it, slice it, cube it, or melt it! It’s perfect for the lunchbox, as a snack, or adding to meals.

Ask the pupils what their favourite cheesy meal is and ask them to write the recipe and draw a picture of it.

Fun Fact!

It takes 10 litres of milk to make one kilogram of Cheddar cheese! ‘Mature’ Cheddar cheeses are left to ripen for a year or more. The cheese is stored in a special room where the temperature and humidity are controlled. The longer they are left to ripen, the stronger the taste!


Bring It Home

Cheese up your life at home!

Adding 25g of Cheddar cheese to a pasta dish, a mixed salad or an omelette is a ‘grate’ way to get one of your recommended servings from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group!

What other recipes can you cook which include cheese?

  • Cheesy beans on toast
  • Jacket potatoes with cheese
  • Homemade pizza
  • Savoury pancakes
  • Quiche
  • Cheese scones
LESSON PLAN: Senior
VIEW

OBJECTIVE

To help pupils understand where cheese comes from and the process of cheese production.
Duration: 30 minutes (approximately).

CIRRICULAR LINKS

WORDS OF THE DAY

Pasteurisation: Involves heating the milk to a high temperature for a short time (e.g. 72° Celsius for 15 seconds), followed by rapid cooling.
Starter Bacteria: This is a culture of bacteria which converts the sugar in milk (lactose) into lactic acid. This helps to add flavour to the cheese.
Rennet: This enzyme is a natural extract from the stomach of a calf. Rennet causes the curd to form in cheese production.
Curd: This is the basic material from which cheese is made. It is solidified milk which is then cut and this action releases the whey.
Whey: This is the excess moisture residue which comes from the curd. The whey is released when the curd is cut and is washed away because it is not needed for making cheese. However, the whey can be used in the manufacture of other food products.
Enzyme: A group of complex proteins produced by living cells.
Biestings: The first milk produced by a cow after giving birth to a calf.

CLASSROOM DISCUSSION

Cheese Making in Ireland

Ireland has for a long time been famous as a producer of quality dairy products. There are more than 17,000 dairy farms in Ireland, producing 5 billion litres of milk per year. Dairy products have been an important part of the Irish diet since prehistoric times.

Because so many people wanted Irish butter, both here and abroad, the cheese-making industry in Ireland was almost extinct by the nineteenth century. However, cheese-making became very popular again in the 1970’s and today it is a very successful industry.

Some of the different types of cheese made in the past were:

  • Faiscre grotha, which is like the cottage cheese we get today
  • A sweet curd cheese using rennet was called Millsen
  • Maothal cheese was made of biestings
  • Mulchan, made from buttermilk
  • A type of hard cheese called Tanach

The secret to Ireland’s quality cheese-making begins in its pasturelands (fields). Irish dairy cows graze on more grass and for longer over the year than dairy herds almost anywhere else in the world.

The Story of Cheddar Cheese – From Farm to Fridge

  1. Cheddar cheese is made during the spring, summer and autumn months. This is when the cows are out in the fields and eating fresh grass which gives the Cheddar a lovely flavour and yellow colour.
  2. The milk is brought in tankers to the cheese factory and is pasteurised and put into vats where it is kept warm.
  3. First, friendly bacteria are added to the milk. These heat the milk sugars which help to preserve the cheese. Rennet is then added. Rennet is an enzyme that allows the milk to set. It is left to set for a period of 40-45 minutes.
  4. The curd is then cut when the milk is firm and allowed to stand.
  5. The curds and whey are then stirred gently while the temperature is increased.
  6. The curds and whey are then pumped over to a special machine. This machine drains the whey. The curd fuses together and is then milled. Salt is added to give flavour and texture to the cheese and helps preserve it.
  7. The cheese is cut into blocks before it goes into the chill store for 24 hours where it is cooled down. It is then stored in a cool room to ripen for 6 – 12 months. It won’t leave the cheese store until the cheese grader is satisfied that it is a first class piece of Cheddar.
  8. So the next time you are enjoying a piece of cheese, you can be sure you are eating a high quality, nutritious and tasty product.

Activity

Say Cheese!

Irish Cheddar cheese is one of our most delicious foods. Grate it, slice it, cube it or melt it! It’s perfect for the lunchbox, as a snack, or adding to meals.

Ask the pupils what their favourite cheesy meal is and ask them to write the recipe and draw a picture of it.

Fun Fact

It takes 10 litres of milk to make one kilogram of Cheddar cheese! Mature Cheddar cheeses are left to ripen for a year or more. The cheese is stored in a special room where the temperature and humidity are controlled. The longer they are left to ripen, the stronger the taste!


Bring It Home

Cheese up your life at home!

Adding 25g of Cheddar cheese to a pasta dish, a mixed salad or an omelette is a ‘grate’ way to get one of your recommended servings from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group!

What other recipes can you cook which include cheese?

  • Cheesy beans on toast
  • Jacket potatoes with cheese
  • Homemade pizza
  • Savoury pancakes
  • Quiche
  • Cheese scones
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