Friday, June 13, 2014

Let's Make a Stomach! The Digestive System!

I heart science! We've just started our unit on the human body systems. This past week we focused on the digestive system. I found this activity on this website. It also had an activity for making the small intestine. I didn't have time to try it out this year, maybe next year. I noticed that Teaching in Room 6 (she is amazing by the way...tons of awesome 5th grade activities) did the same experiment, but added the component of water (to mimic saliva). Which totally makes sense!


What you'll need:
1 zip-lock plastic bag
a couple crackers
1 tablespoon water
orange juice

What they'll do: (They used their science notebooks to think about each part of the activity and write their response)
-The bag is going to be the stomach
-Break the crackers into pieces and drop them into the bag
 **What are your hands acting as? (The mouth that breaks the food into little pieces)
-Next put 1 or 2 teaspoons of water into the bag. Have the students mush it around.
**What is the water acting as? (saliva)
-Now pour a little orange juice into the bag. Again, have the students mush it around.
**What is the orange juice acting as? (digestive juices/acids)
-Observe what is happening to the crackers.
**Write your observation in your journal
-Now squeeze the bag for one minute
**What are your hands acting as? (your hands are acting like the stomach walls that squeeze the food you eat)
**What happens to the crackers? Are they liquid now? (That means the stomach's job has finished and the food is ready to be sent to the intestines where the water and nutrients will be absorbed.)

Science Bob is a fabulous website with tons of information, videos, experiments, and a store (I bought my film canisters for our rockets there). It has a great info page about the digestive system (it's printable too).

Study Jams is another great site with video clips or slide shows (math and science).

Brain Pop has a lot of animated video clips with good information for all academic areas. My students enjoyed the digestive system video. You do need to sign up for a membership with this one though.
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