Friday, January 7, 2011

Study of the Digestive System: Stomach & Small Intestine

For anatomy today we did a couple of quick activities to go along with our study of the digestive system.  We have been studying about the stomach & how it turns food into chyme in our Apologia course Exploring Creation Human Anatomy.   Now it takes the stomach 3 to 4 hours to turn food into chyme & this activity gives your kids a visual idea of how it works.

Put a piece of bread inside a Ziploc baggie & fill it with water (enough to cover the bread).  Then place that baggie inside another one to help prevent leakage.  Have your child squish & squeeze the bag like their stomach would do.  Let them see what happens to the bread & explain that this is how the stomach churns the food that they eat.

After the food leaves the stomach it goes into the small intestine & is processed another 3 hours.  That is really quick because the small intestine measures 20 feet!  So the food moves pretty quickly during this process.  

For an activity get a measuring tape & have your child measure out 20 feet.  This gives them a great visual of how long the small intestine is & they will be amazed that something that long is inside their bodies!

Another great tool in teaching digestion is Bill Nye The Science Guy: Digestion Classroom Edition.