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Activity Overview

An alternative to the "Structure of the Digestive System" activity would be to have separate cells for each part of the digestive system, rather than one large diagram. In this activity, students will create a spider map identifying and defining the functions of each organ in the digestive system. Sometimes it can be helpful to have each organ isolated in order to focus in on what it does.

Digestive System Diagram Example

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.
Small IntestinesThe small intestines are made up of three parts: the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ilium. Here, food is mixed with 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.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a spider map that identifies and describes the different organs in the digestive system.

    Click "Start Assignment".
  1. Search for "digestive system". Pull down the digestive system diagram into each cell.
  2. Type the name of organs into the title boxes: Mouth, Esophagus, Stomach, Small Intestines, Large Intestines, and Anus.
  3. Identify the parts of the digestive system. Each cell should have one part of the diagram colored a different color than the rest, matching the title box.
  4. Write the function of the of the part of the digestive system below the illustration.

Lesson Plan Reference


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Labeled diagram
Label the diagram giving the functions of each part.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
All the labels are correct.
Most of the labels are correct.
Some of the labels are correct.
All the functions are correct with no grammar or spelling mistakes.
Most of the functions are correct with some grammar and spelling mistakes.
Some of the functions are correct with many grammar and spelling mistakes.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.

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