How the stomach digests food

How the stomach digests food

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Short description

How the stomach digests food

Type of resource:  Website

Web address https://www.giftofcuriosity.com/human-body-activity-how-the-stomach-digests-food

Language: English 

Description

Exploring how the stomach breaks down food during digestion.

Scientific concept introduced

The process of human digestion - physical action (mechanical digestion) and chemical digestion.

Creative and critical thinking

Critical Thinking:
- Prediction
- Analysis
- Explanation
- Inference

Creative Thinking:
- Curiosity
- Imagining

Mathematical reasoning

- Measuring liquids

Scientific thinking

- Questioning
- Observing
- Analysing
- Comparing
- Measuring
- Predicting
- Recording

Learning how to learn

- Following guidelines
- Active listening
- Self-efficacy in learning
- Communication
- Reflection on learning

Additional

- Oral language - listening and following instructions
- Literacy - vocabulary development
- Pre-reading skills - sequencing
- Cooking skills of pouring and crushing
- Fine motor skills
- Hand-eye coordination
- Safety in the kitchen

Full description

How the stomach digests food

Overall aims

● to enable pupils to explore how the stomach breaks down food physically and
chemically
● to develop pupils’ skills in listening and following instructions
● to develop pupils’ cooking skills of crushing and pouring
● to develop pupils’ skills in sharing and turn-taking
● to develop pupils’ mathematical skills in measuring liquids
● to develop pupils’ expressive language skills

Vocabulary - keywords should be understood

Stomach, digest, hungry, crackers, soda, crush, move, churn, acid

Expected learning outcomes (operational aims)

The child will be enabled to:
- follow instructions for how to simulate the digestion of food in the stomach
- explore how the stomach digests food physically and chemically and identify
differences in both processes
- practice the skills of crushing and pouring
- work together in small groups
- respond to the experiment by creating an audio story

STEM skills - to which the learning unit is related to

CORE STEM SKILLS

● Questioning
● Observing
● Prediction
● Explanation
● Inference
● Curiosity
● Imagining
● Comparing
● Measuring liquids
● Recording

ADDITIONAL SKILLS

● Oral language – focus on expressive language in audio recording
● Following guidelines
● Active listening

● Self-efficacy in learning
● Communication
● Reflection on learning
● Literacy – vocabulary development and pre-reading skills of sequencing
● Cooking skills of pouring and crushing
● Hand-eye coordination
● Fine-motor skills
● Following rules of safety
● Group work

Teaching methodologies/activity outline

Teacher note: This experiment demonstrates the process of human digestion - physical action (mechanical digestion) and chemical digestion.

 

Introduction:
1. Ask pupils to point to their stomachs. Draw a simple picture of the stomach on the board (using it as the focal point for a spider diagram). Inform pupils that this is the shape of the stomach. Then elicit pupils’ prior knowledge about the stomach and note their comments on the ‘stomach diagram’. Sample questions: What job does your stomach do? How does food get into your stomach? How does your stomach tell you that you’re hungry?
2. Explain that the stomach does a very important job, it breaks down the food that we eat. This is called digestion. Inform pupils that they’re going to investigate how the stomach digests food.

 

Activity:
(This activity can be done individually or in small groups. It’s outlined here as a small
group task.)

 

Materials: (per group)
- A plastic, zip-top bag with the outline of a stomach drawn on it (see the first
diagram below)
- A tablespoon
- 2 crackers
- ½ cup of clear soda
- A plate to contain the materials

 

Instructions:
1. Ask pupils to place their bag in the middle of the group and to point to their ‘stomach’ on the plastic bag.

2. Ask each group to then fill their stomach by adding the crackers to the bag.

3. Inform pupils that the stomach has 2 ways to break down food. Ask pupils to suggest what these 2 ways might be. Discuss and then inform pupils that the first way it breaks down food is through physical action.
4. To demonstrate this, ask each group to crush the crackers in the bag into small pieces, using their hands. Explain that this is how the stomach breaks down food through physical action – it moves and churns the food around to break it down to smaller parts.

5. The second way the stomach breaks down food is by using chemicals called acids.
6. To demonstrate this, ask each group (with pupils taking turns), to measure out and pour 6 tablespoons of clear soda into the plastic bag. (Teacher note: We use soda as sodas are high in acids). Ensure pupils close the zip-top on their plastic bag. Ask pupils to crush the crackers in the ‘stomach’ to see how the stomach can digest food with the help of acids.

7. Ask pupils to compare both ways of breaking down food – what’s different? Discuss with pupils how both ways of breaking down food in the stomach work really well together in making the stomach excellent at digesting our food.

 

Conclusion:
Ask the class to do a simple audio story (account) of how the stomach digests food,
for example:
- Begin by planning the audio story
- Record it
     - Talk through what happens at each stage
     - Add sound effects – using voice or props
- Share the audio story on the school website

Assessment of learning

Pupil observation sheet, audio recording assessment

Equipment and materials to be used in learning unit (tools, ingredients etc)

Audio recording tool e.g. A smartphone, Audacity, Garage Band

Materials: (per group)
- A plastic, zip-top bag with the outline of a stomach drawn on it (see the first diagram below)
- A tablespoon
- 2 crackers
- ½ cup of clear soda
- A plate to contain the materials

Kind of setting

Kitchen or classroom

References - source

https://www.giftofcuriosity.com/human-body-activity-how-the-stomach-digests-food

Evaluation

How the stomach digests food

1. Usefulness for STEM education - integrating content of different disciplines

Cross-curricular character of the resource 

 

The range of S-T-E-M subjects included 

 

The presentation of possibilities of including artistic activities (STEAM approach)

 

2. Expected learning outcomes

Consistency (links) with preschool core curriculum

 

Communicativeness of description

 

3. Methodology of teaching

Clarity, communicativeness of instructions for teachers

 

Meaningful learning - using practical life problems

 

Original idea 

 

The level of ease in implementing the methodology to preschool age children

 

The level of ease in preparing necessary ingredients, materials and equipment needed

 

4. Sustainability

Ecological characteristics of materials/ results

 

Supporting healthy eating habits 

 

Low ecological footprint

 

Possibilities of inclusion (respecting cultural diversity and food intolerances)

 

5. Class management

Using differentiated forms of work - individual, team work etc.

 

Individual work

 

 

 

 

Team work

 

 

 

 

Whole group

 

 

 

6. Time management

 

Short activity (10-15 minutes)

 

 

 

Medium activity (20-30 minutes)

 

 

 

Long activity (1 hour or more)

 

 

 

Very long activity (1 day or more)

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