Lesson Plan Industry Sector
Agriculture & Natural Resources

Lesson Plan Originally Created By: Anna Bates

"From Food to Feces" Monogastric vs. Ruminant

Part of Unit: Basic Animal Anatomy and Systems

Lesson Plan Overview / Details

This lesson is entry level information for freshmen starting to learn about livestock projects. They will learn the major processes of digestion which include the difference between a monogastric and ruminant animals. They will also learn about examples of both of those animals and the basic anatomy of the digestive systems.

Lesson Time


Objectives and Goals

  • Identify the major parts of both the monogastric and ruminant digestive systems.
  • Identify the functions of the major parts of the digestive systems.
  • Explain the movement of food from the mouth all the way to feces.

Activities in this Lesson

  • Intro / Hook Hooks / Set

    Put two pieces (or more if you want) of Honeycombs cereal at each student's desk. Tell them they can eat all but one of them. Present the questions:

    What does this piece of cereal look like? (They will say a Bee's Honeycomb, which is correct)

    What is happening now as the cereal is being digested? Where will it go next? Discuss that YES it will now be digested going into your esophagus, stomach, large intestine, small intestine, to rectum and out the anus.

    Present the question: Is this how every animal digests it's food? No...we are monogastrics and only have one stomach. Make sure they keep one piece of the honeycomb cereal sitting on their desk. Tell them it has special importance and to leave it there until you tell them.


    Put up pictures of the following animals on the board or projector if available. First group: (put these together)  Cattle, Goat, Sheep, Camel, Deer         Second Group: Human, Pig, Horse, Rabbit

    Put the question on the board: "What is different about these two groups of animals?"   Have students raise their hand and give answers. Write their ideas on the board.   If they are having a hard time...give them hints such as one group 'chews' their cud and one doesn't.  Link this to the difference in the type of stomachs the animals have and digestive systems. Each group have two very distinct digestive systems.  The two major types are Monogastrics and Ruminants.

    Next: Pass out the handout with the diagrams on them for reference while doing the powerpoint presentation.  Keep the Honeycomb cereal on their desks! You will use it when getting to the Ruminant stomach and the "HONEYCOMB" or Reticulum.

  • This powerpoint will walk the students through the major parts and functions of the digestive systems. First, hand out the two page (you can make is one page double sided when making copies) reference sheet of the Digestive Systems with diagrams on them. They will need this in order to do the activity later.

    Note: When you get to the 4 compartments of the Ruminant stomach have them look again at their piece of cereal in front of them. Which part of the stomach does it resemble? Why? Do we have this part in our stomach? (NO) This is what the inside of the Reticulum looks like. After getting this point across, the students can go ahead and eat the last piece of cereal.

    Resources and Materials

    • Digestion.ppt [ Download ] This is the actual Powerpoint Presentation
    • Digestion Guided Notes [ Download ] Pass this out to use with the Power Point presentation to take notes.
    • Ruminant Digestive Systems Diagrams [ Download ] Pass out as a reference for the activity later.
    • Monogastric Digestive System Diagram [ Download ] Pass out as a reference for the activity later.
  • Play Do Model Group Work

    You need to obtain containers of play do from a place like the Dollar Store. Students will be placed in groups of two or more depending on how many students you have in your classes. They will need to be given at least 4 different colors (must have 4 different colors for the ruminant stomach)  of play-do. You will need either a paper plate or a piece of paper for them on which to create a model of the both digestive systems. The size depends on how big you would like them to be. You will also need toothpicks and post it notes.  They need to create a model of both the monogastric and ruminant digestive systems and place little 'Flags' in each part.  The flags should have the names of the parts on them.


Assessment Types:
Demonstrations, Observations, Model and Presentation

Students will have to present their models to the class and point out the major parts while explaining what is happening in each part.