Types of Consumers

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SWBAT differentiate between the three kinds of consumers: herbivores, omnivores and carnivores.

Big Idea

By analyzing the teeth of animals, students infer information about the animals' diets.


5 minutes

Teacher Tip: This lesson dives into the three kind of consumers: herbivores, omnivores and carnivores.  Students will read a nonfictional text to gather informational evidence (address RL.6.1, as well as observe a short video clip.  Materials for this lesson include: a device with internet access for the video clip, a projector to show the clip, printed versions of the article in the EXPLORE section or devices with internet access for each student to view the article. For the foldable in the ELABORATE section, students will each need scissors, markers and a sheet of blank paper. 

To begin this lesson, students will reflect on the prior lesson Niche Roles in order to respond to the following prompt in their student notes sheet

ENGAGE: Answer the question below in a complete sentence.

What is a consumer? Provide an example.


15 minutes

Students now read the following article, either vie the website or in their own pre-printed copy.  From the article they will identify the three kinds of consumers, write their own definition which includes what they eat and a few examples of organisms. Students can work together or individually, whichever you prefer, but they should complete the EXPLORE section of their notes sheet on their own: 

EXPLORE: Read the Carnivores, Herbivores and Omnivores article and complete the chart with information from the text.


5 minutes

Students now watch a short video clip which identifies the structure of the teeth for each type of consumer.  While watching, they will take notes on their notes sheets: 

EXPLAIN: Describe the teeth of the kinds of consumers below by watching the video.





15 minutes

Using the information from the article and the video, students now create a foldable demonstrating and organizing all of their information about herbivores, carnivores and omnivores.  I hand each small group their materials in a basket (per student: one blank sheet of paper, markers, scissors).  Students follow the following prompt to identify the criteria needed for the task: 

ELABORATE: Create a foldable that includes the following criteria.

  • herbivores: what are they? 3 examples, 1 picture, teeth description

  • carnivores: what are they? 3 examples, 1 picture, teeth description

  • omnivores: what are they? 3 examples, 1 picture, teeth description

The outside should be labeled with the types of consumers, outside of foldable.

The inside should answer the questions above, inside of foldable and look like this.


5 minutes

As a fun, final task, students can play the following game either as a whole class on the SMARTBoard or on their own internet device (does require Flash). 

EVALUATE: Play the Animal Diet Game to help you review the three types of consumers.

Types of Consumers