The Structure of the Digestive System

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Digestive System

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Activity Overview


At the beginning of a unit on the digestive system, it's important for students to have a foundation of which organs are involved and their function. In this activity, students will label a model of the digestive system. They should include a description of what happens at each stage in the process along with the label. To scaffold this activity, consider providing a list of organs and having students place arrows pointing toward the correct organ.


Digestive System Diagram Example

StageDescription
MouthFood enters the alimentary canal through the mouth. It is chewed by teeth which break food down into smaller pieces. The food is mixed with saliva that contains enzymes.
EsophagusThe fibromuscular tube connecting the mouth to the stomach is called the esophagus. Food is pushed down using a wave-like muscular motion called peristalsis.
StomachThe stomach is the muscular organ where food is mixed with gastric juices. Gastric juice has a low pH, meaning it is acidic, and is used to help digest food and kill potentially harmful bacteria.
LiverIn the digestive system, the liver produces bile which helps with the digestion of fats and oils.
GallbladderThe gallbladder is where bile is stored and concentrated.
PancreasThe pancreas is where biological catalysts called enzymes are produced. Digestive enzymes speed up the breaking down of large nutrient molecules.
Small IntestinesThe small intestines are made up of three parts: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum. Here, food is mixed with digestive enzymes and bile. The enzymes speed up the digestion process. Nutrients are then absorbed into the bloodstream.
Large IntestinesThe large intestines are made up of two parts: the colon and the rectum. In the colon, water is reabsorbed from the food. Feces are stored in the rectum until they are ready to be passed.
AnusFeces leave the alimentary canal through the anus.


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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a labeled model of the digestive system. Identify the main parts and describe their function.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Search for "digestive system". Pull down the diagram into the cell.
  3. Label the parts of the digestive system using Textables and arrows.
  4. Describe the function of the different parts of the digestive system.
  5. Save and submit the assignment.
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