Digestive System

Prior Knowledge: Students should have a basic understanding of the structure of the digestive system including mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. Student should also know the basic function of the digestive system and the role of each structure.

Lesson Objective: By the end of today’s class, SWBAT describe and explain how food is processed in digestive system.

Basic Description of Assignment: This lab is designed to  allow students to see how food is processed throughout the digestive system. It’s a great hands-on activity for students to physically see how food changes as it goes through the process. Students will take a slice of bread and watch it transform as you mimick the different parts of the digestive system. This activity could get messy, so doing it outside would be a very good idea!


sliced bread


-lemon juice

-plastic bag

-woman’s pantyhose


Step 1: place sliced bread into bag

Step 2: using hands only, smash the bread into pieces (mouth)

Step 3: describe the texture of the bread

Step 4: Add 10 drops of water to the bag with bread (saliva)

Step 5: mash the bag again using hands and describe how the “saliva” changed the bread

Step 6: add 20 drops of lemon juice (stomach acid), mash bag and describe how the “stomach acid” changed the bread

Step 7: place the contents into the panty hose (small and large intestines)

Step 8: squeeze contents through panty hose and describe how the bread has changed through the “intestines”

Step 9: clean area and reflect on the contents before and after the digestive system.

Reasoning behind Lesson:

The purpose of this lesson is to reinforce concepts with the student. Subjects in science are often theoretical and difficult for certain students to grasp. This lesson is designed to tie the concepts together and have the students visually see the changes in the food as you mimicked the different parts of the digestive system. This activity pushes student thinking by having them model the concept and bring purpose to each of the different structures. The guiding questions were designed to help the students to better understand the concepts by being able to draw the connection to what they have learned and what they were seeing in front of them. Sometimes see is believing and this is a way for students to believe the concept.

This experiment is designed to be home-friendly and budget friendly so that students can get reinforcement and practice at home. Similar to mobile learning, students will have this opportunity to practice at home with the guidance of this blog to help them get the same hands on exprience as they could at school. However, this additional practice and repetition is a great way to involve families and to reinforce concepts at home. Students who learn in multiple environments are hopefully more likely to learn in all contexts beyond the classroom, which is my goal – to have students view the world through a scientific lens.



This lesson is a great lesson for students of all levels because the students are not only drawing on previous knowledge, but also describing what they see. While some students may struggle with body structures, they can easily be reminded of it through the use of diagrams as you go through the activity. Constant reminders and asking the student to describe what they see and what they think is happening is a great way to catch up students who are behind and to address misconceptions.

Students who understand the concept completely can perform an extention by creating a diagram of the digestive system and creating a theme park or roller coaster ride using the digestive system. Students can model and apply what they know about the digestive system in a creative manner.


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