Student Web Activity

Chapter 16 Lesson 6: Digestion—Breaking It Down

Introduction

The path food takes through the human body is both complex and interesting. Each step is designed to break the food down into parts your body can use for energy, growth, and repair. At the Web site below you will learn about each step of the digestive process and have a chance to describe it yourself.

Link to explore: Kids Discovery:
http://yucky.kids.discovery.com/flash/body/pg000126.html

Directions

  • Start at “Your Digestive System” at the Kids Discovery Web site.
  • Read through the page about the digestive system.  You may also want to click on the link “Gross and Cool Body,” which will give you some additional information and ideas.  Take notes as you read.
  • When you finish reading, answer the questions below.
  • Finally, create a travel brochure that takes readers on a guided tour of the digestive system, starting in the mouth, moving down the esophagus and into the stomach, and on into the large and small intestines.  Try to point out things you think travelers would find especially interesting as you go.

Questions

  1. What is the first step in digestion?
  1. What is the muscle action that pushes food down the esophagus and through the intestines called?
  1. Where does the food go after it leaves the stomach?
  1. What structures in the small intestines absorb nutrients, and what do they look like?
  1. Why does the leftover food get smaller and dryer when it enters the large intestine?

Answers

  1. The first step in digestion is taking a bite of and chewing your food.
  1. The muscle action that pushes food down the esophagus and through the intestines is called peristalsis.
  1. After the food leaves the stomach it goes to the small intestines.
  1. The villi are the small structures in the small intestines that absorb nutrients.  They resemble finger-like cactuses.
  1. The leftover food gets smaller and dryer because the large intestine is where water is removed from the leftovers and recycled back into the body.

Additional Resources for Teachers

Below are some Web sites on digestion that have additional information and creative ways to illustrate the digestive process.

  1. Eaten Alive - Internal Digestive Journey:
    http://library.thinkquest.org/12090/
  2. Acting Out Digestion:
    http://www.accessexcellence.org/AE/AEC/AEF/1995/cave_digest.html
  3. The Virtual Body:
    http://www.medtropolis.com/VBody.asp
  4. Kids Health:
    http://kidshealth.org/parent/general/body_basics/digestive.html

 

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