I am working on a unit plan to use during my student teaching and am looking for a good interest approach for the digestion systems.
I am covering ruminant, monogastric, modified monogastric, and poultry digestion.
You might try the activity mentioned here: http://naae.ca.uky.edu:8080/clearspace_community/message/6209#6209 It could be used as an interest approach pretty easy.
As a curriculum resource, check out the following materials on the Oregon Vocational Agriculture Teachers Assocation (OVATA) website: http://www.ovata.org/share.html?catid=35
I don't know if its too late but I totally spaced that I had this activity until after I finished my unit. Another piece of advice Go for a real digestive tract I am a first year teacher and decided to do it in my classroom not the best, but its all I had. It was fun and most of your kids will get into it there will be a few squimish kids so always have a back up plan for them to do outside of class to make up the disection lab. Anyways you can use this or not, I can't find my altered one but it just is a quick simulation of what digestion is. I used gold fish from pepperridge farm up in Richmond. I saw you were from USU, and they sell the bulk bags really cheap. So thats just a side note. This was a fun activity I did last spring during my student teaching.
Do you have a handout or steps that you used for the digestive system dissection.
Where did you get the digestion system at?
This is really fun and is really funny to watch their facial expressions. Did you ever get to put your hand in a cows stomach in college? well you can do that with your students without needing a cow. Just take a bucket, with grass and hot water. put the grass in the bucket and pour hot water over it .. let it sit overnight or over the weekend. Then right before you have your class pour some of the cold water out and put hot water. Place a trash bag that they can put their hands in and tape it to the bucket so that they don't get the mess on their hands. This will allow them to feel what a rumen feels like with the different levels of digestion. Let me Know if you need any help with anything.. Hope it works out:)
I'm late to respond but thought I would add a few things since my class has just started the Digestion unit.
As for an interest approach, I showed my students two segments from a documentary called "All About Dung." It gets them good and grossed out while at the same thing realizing that animal waste isn't just 'waste.'
Yesterday we actually examined and dissected the digestive system of a deer. Thank God for deer season! We were also able to do a mini-lesson on sanitation and hand washing.
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