Sunday, October 2, 2011

Human Anatomy: The Digestive System

This week’s topic was the digestive system. The kids (and I ) learned the basics of this important system of our body. We did a couple of digestive system experiments and watched a short digestive system video. Here are the highlights:

digestivesystemposter I did an “old-school” visual aide for my class this week. This was a printable from Human Body: Easy Make and Learn Projects. Getting this ready brought back many memories of coloring teaching posters for my classroom years ago. I found it was kind of therapeutic to color in the poster.

digestivesystemposter2 The full poster is two standard-size pieces of paper taped together. There are little flaps to lift with information. I used this to show what happens to food when eaten.


After using the poster, I showed a short video clip on my iPad for the class. I thought it was funny.

We did an experiment to see how the enzymes in our saliva work to break down starches (found in the Apologia book.) We first had a small piece of cracker that we placed in our mouth. We observed how this started breaking down and how it tasted a little sweet. Next we tried again using cheese. The cheese did not break down as easily as the cracker and there was no “sweet” taste because cheese is a protein, not a starch.


Next we made a model of the stomach. I rolled a piece of paper to be the food tube, and taped one end into a quart size plastic bag. Then I added some water to be the stomach acid.

stomachexperiment2I had each kid move a piece of bread through the food tube (they were simulating the involuntary muscles that move food in our esophagus.)


We observed how the bread was starting to break apart just by sitting in the water. We discussed how the stomach acid works to break down the food, but that our stomach has 3 layers of muscles that churn the food.  Yes, this looks gross. From there we reviewed what happens to the food after it is churned in the stomach. Then we read the from My First Human Body Coloring Book.


I created a digestive system worksheet and a take-home sheet. I’m gathering all the past posts and links and organizing them on the Human Anatomy page. You can easily find the links and downloads there for all that we have done so far.

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Blogger Our Side of the Mountain said...

Stopping by from Science Sunday! What a cool study! I love the digestive system poster! Thanks for the link! (My daughter will be studying Health later this year.) I'll check back in the spring for some printables! Yay!

October 2, 2011 at 5:01 PM  
Blogger The girl who painted trees said...

We're on digestion this week with our classical conversation memory work. Love the plastic bag stomach and paper towel tube esophagus. Off to do that with kiddos. Thanks.

October 2, 2011 at 5:29 PM  
Blogger Valerie said...

Yeah! I love your colored chart, and your experiements :) This is such a fun one for kids to learn isn't it!!!

So very creative Mo!

:) Valerie

October 2, 2011 at 11:39 PM  
Blogger Ticia said...

I hadn't seen the esophagus part before in the digestive system that's a good addition.

And I'm so glad that was your sample because I was going to be truly amazed and wowed by the kids coloring skills. My kids are more of the "it's all blue," coloring phase right now.

October 3, 2011 at 9:13 AM  
Blogger Karen@Candid Diversions said...

Thanks for the printable! We're doing this Apologia for our science this year. My older girls have the notebooks but I've been cobbling together printable things for my 4 yr old to "do science" along with us.

October 3, 2011 at 4:03 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks, I will be sharing this with my Classical Conversations community.

October 3, 2011 at 8:58 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Murphy said...

Thanks for posting this. I'll be sure to do this with my 5 third graders in my classical classroom!

January 14, 2012 at 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Kelley said...

Thanks for this. I am homeschooling with the Apologia and the notebooking journal this year. You did better with your jello than we did. When we flipped it the entire thing came apart. I have a question. My 10 yr. old daughter that i visual enjoys the projects but things don't stick like about the sm. intenstine where my 12 yr. old still remembers the body parts. Do you have any suggestions or on-line games. I can't seem to find it. Oh and did you do the iodine project to see if something had starch in it. The decolorized iodine from Wal-mart didn't work. Thanks for any help!!

March 11, 2012 at 5:06 PM  

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