Ruminating on the Digestive System

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In this activity, learners will review the functions of basic digestive organs, understand how diet affects digestion, understand how digestive tracks may differ, and then step outside to compare the digestive systems of the buffalo and the zebra in a lively demonstration. This lesson plan includes key vocabulary words, teacher background information, and is standards-based.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
5 to 10 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
free per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • The Herbivore Digestive System Student Worksheet
  • Worksheet Answer Key
  • Two Strategies of Digestion in Hoofed Mammals Teacher Reference Sheet
  • overhead transparency
  • dry-erase markers
  • colored pencils or markers
  • jumbo sidewalk chalk (at least 5 pieces)
  • meter stick or measuring tape
  • hula hoops or colored ribbon, rope, or towels (optional)
  • 1-L bottle (optional)
  • Graph Overhead (optional)


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
      • Viruses and Bacteria
      • Classification
    • Ecology
    • Human Body
      • Digestion


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • California Academy of Sciences


  • , California Academy of Sciences, 2008