Science Sunday: How does a cow’s stomach work?


We reached the chapter Superman’s been waiting for all year long: the COW chapter.  Okay, the entire chapter isn’t about cows, but enough of it was to make him happy.


After reading the text, I don’t think the kids quite understood how does a cow’s stomach work, so we set about answering that question.


So, I set up the card table downstairs, dug out the glitter glue, and proceeded to answer the question: how does a cow’s stomach work?


how does a cow's stomach work?

First I drew up for cows with their digestive system, if I’d planned further ahead than say 2 minutes (see my post on my planning style at The Homeschool Village), I would have drawn one and then scanned it to share with ya’ll, in all it’s awesome quality……  That didn’t happen.  Then the kids happily colored the non-digestive system parts.


parts of a cow's stomach

Then we colored and labeled the different chamber’s of the cow’s stomach.  I had to restrain the kids from coloring more than I did.  You’ll see why it was necessary in a moment.

how a cow's digestive system works done in glitter glue

Then we got to glitter-gluing the steps involved.  We ran out of room in the esophagus as the glitter glue was a bit wider than we planned, and we couldn’t fit all the times the food went up and down.

how does a cow's stomach work visual

And here’s the end result.  The cow chews the food and swallows it.  There it passes through the first and second chambers before heading back up to be chewed on some more.

how does a cow's stomach work project in glitter glue

Then the cow swallows the grass again (called cud once it’s been chewed and swallowed).  The cud passes through the third and fourth chambers to finish digesting.  It’s hard to tell, but there are actually 3 separate lines going through the esophagus as the food would pass back and forth.

how does a cow's stomach work?

Finally the fully digested food heads down into the intestines where the food is absorbed.  The kids were quite fascinated to learn that the food travels through the intestines and whatever is left becomes poop.  Yeah, so that little bit you see at the bottom there is Superman adding poop from his cow…….


Fell free to say “ewwwwww” I certainly did.


And that is our lesson on: how does a cow’s stomach work.


But, I was also amused because all of the lines on his cow are blood vessels.  I guess I better start organizing my anatomy board……..

land animals

If you want some more land animals idea, check out my land animals pinterest board.


Let’s see what others did this week:

Each week I’m spotlighting a few posts that were shared previously.  Many posts get linked up later in the week and they don’t always get as many clicks as they deserve, so I’m trying to spotlight a few every week.



Life with Moore Babies shared a fun pumpkin growing experiment.  I am SOOOOO doing this when we hit botany, or maybe sooner.



Source: via Ticia on Pinterest


Stacy Sews and Schools shared a great collection of bird resources, there’s books to get, lapbooks and notebooking pages to print out and so much more.



Mum makes lists shared 50 things to put in a science kit (most of which are in your pantry).


I usually only share 5, but I really LOVE this one from All Things Beautiful, it’s got all of the experiments I’ll try with my kids when we learn about the skeletal system all together.




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  1. says

    Thanks for hosting and sharing our Pumpkins! Do you have a veterinary teaching hospital near you? I know the one I went to had an open house every year where they brought in a cow that had a cannula into its rumen, so you could stick your hand inside (with a glove on of course). It was pretty need to feel how it moved everything around, and also very stinky at the same time!

    • says

      Hmmmm…… I know there’s a big animal hospital about an hour or so South of us….. I might need to check into that.

  2. Lula B says

    I had always wondered how the four stomachs thing worked – thanks! (Anything that can be learned, can be learned with glitter glue.)

  3. says

    You do realise you are effectively giving online lessons to all your readers and not just your children? Great lesson, I only wish I’d been their to join in with the glitter glue!!

  4. says

    This is a cool lesson! Love detailed anatomical drawings :) Sorry I’ve been so MIA lately – work has been totally brutal. Hopefully it’s better from now on!

  5. Andrea @ No Doubt Learning says

    Great lesson idea! My 4 year old daughter LOVES cows. She’s been mooing for almost 2 years…(ugh). I’m sure she’d love this lesson. I’m pinning it to my cow board now :)


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