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Year 5 Visit the Silk Museum

12 November 2014

This week Year 5 visited the Silk Museum and nine of our students have worked together to tell us about their trip.

  • Year 5 students at the British International School Shanghai, Puxi visit the Shanghai Silk Museum

At 09:05am on Tuesday, after the school Remembrance Day celebrations Year 5 set off on a trip to the Silk Museum. Everyone was looking forward to it and it was a very interesting experience, and it helped us learn about how silk worms produce silk.

First we went to the Shanghai Silk Museum and a lady named Jenny who spoke excellent English showed us to a room with containers that had water in them and silkworms inside as well. The lady told us about the stages that a silk worm lives through and then asked us questions. If you got it right the prize was a cocoon made of silk. She explained that silk worms are really caterpillars of the Silk Moth. The bigger Silk Moth is the female because she has to lay eggs. They don’t live for very long, only two months. When they start out the silk worms are very small but they eat a lot and grow fast until they either go on their own or in pairs and spin silk cocoons that are shaped like an egg.

Next she led us to a machine that made silk, and another one you had to turn by hand. She told us that if you put the cocoons into hot water you could get a lot of silk. We all turned the machine by hand, which would have been very tiring if you did it for a long time. If it was a single cocoon then there is only one thread of silk that comes out and that thread can be 1.5km long! If it is a double cocoon then the thread is all twisted so you pull it out over a u-shaped frame. If lots of people pull it, it makes a web as big as a bed!

DId you know that even if you hit a silk blanket there’s no dust so it never makes you sneeze?

After that we went to the Shanghai Museum currency exhibition in People’s Square. We were told about how the coins were changed every dynasty or for a new emperor. One emperor liked war so he changed it to a knife shaped coin! It was cool, but I also thought about how people used to suffer with that emperor. We also looked at all the ancient clothes from the different minority people of China and did some sketching.

It was a great trip!

- Hou Dren Yuen, Sofia Hansen, Lorenzo Sisto, Joseph Aw, Kevin Kwon, Jagat Sachdeva, Jenny Kim, Wilmer Hellstrom and Kaya Jessen from Year 5