We did a lot of hands-on activities over the course of two or three weeks. I’m going to put them all into one post.
Does food fall down to the stomach? We proved that muscles helped move the food bolus down to the tummy with this quick upside-down activity. Everyone took turns standing on their hands, chewing up a cracker and swallowing. We also did this lying on our sides. Yes, the food travels to the stomach, no matter what direction the esophagus is pointing.
As food is swallowed, the muscles in the esophagus contract and relax. This activities with panty hose showed how the food is pushed down with the rhythmical muscle movement.
After food is swallowed, it collects in the stomach where stomach acid and food enzymes mix. Muscles in the stomach wall squeeze the food around to mix it.
Make your own vomit:
The kids were keen to do this quick activity that I saw on Zelda’s wondeful blog, Homeschool Escapade, a couple of years ago. We used the recipe she suggested:
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup
- 1/2 mashed banana
- 1/2 cup carrot, finely chopped (we were out, so we used a red pepper)
- 1 or two cookies or crackers, crushed (we used 3 so each kid could do their own)
- 1/8 cup vinegar (we were out, so we used lemon juice as our stomach acid)
- 1 tsp baking soda
As the stomach wall squeeze and mix the food mixture, it makes a lot of noises. We took turns listening to each other’s tummies. The kids said they could here a lot of noise, but unfortunately without my hearing aid in, I couldn’t hear much (though I’ve certainly heard my own rumble from time to time!!)
Using panty hose we squeezed some cooked oatmeal down through our “intestines.” We noticed how some small particles, “nutrients,” were able to make their way out of the lining of our “intestines.”
We pulled out our SmartLab Toys Squishy Human Body (affiliate link.) and spent time looking over all the internal organs. This product by Smart Lab is really fun. The kids love it and it has held up well.
I have a few more things to share with you about this unit, but I need to bring this post to a close for now. The digestive system packet I made for this portion of our unit is now available as part of our Digestive System student packet:
40+ Page Digestive System Student Worksheet Packet with Hands-On Activity Ideas
Our 40+ Page Digestive System Packet has worksheets and activities that cover the following areas:
- Part I: Digestive System — Mouth
- Part II: Digestive System — Swallowing, How the epiglottis works
- Part III: Digestive System — The Digestive Tract
- This packet also include lapbook pieces for interactive notebooks.
- And, it now includes a 30-page section on nutrition – fiber & vitamins
Once you pay for this packet, you will immediately receive a link to download this file (which will open in a browser window). You will also receive an email from Sendowl (the service I use) to your PayPal email address, which will have a link you can click on to download the Digestive System pdf. (It will say, “You can download your digital products…” with a clickable link.) Of course, if you have any issues just email me at — liesl at homeschoolden dot com. You can also reach me by using the contact form on the blog.
Be sure to check out the Human Body BUNDLE down below. 🙂
What is included?
Worksheets on the Digestive Tract
Also included are worksheets and our hand-on activities of the mouth
You will also find worksheets and activity ideas about swallowing, the epiglottis and choking in this packet:
We included all of our hands-on activity ideas in this packet as well:
When our family studied the Digestive System again, we spent quite a bit of time learning about the small intestine; liver, gall bladder and pancreas; and the large intestine. I added a dozen new pages to the packet. You can choose either the fill-in-the-blank notebook pages or use these pages as supplementary readings (with no words missing!).
Making the Digestive System Flapbook:
Note: This packet is included in the Human Body Bundle (below).
Again, to purchase all of the worksheets you see above click the button below. This will send you to paypal:
Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link!
Once you pay for this packet, you will immediately receive a link to download this file (which will open in a browser window). You will also receive an email from Sendowl (the service I use), which will have a link you can click on to download the Digestive System pdf. (It will say, “You can download your digital products…” with a clickable link.) Of course, if you have any issues just email me at — liesl at homeschoolden dot com. You can also reach me by using the contact form on the blog or can reach me over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
These are some of the packets that are included in our Human Body Bundle. These packets can be purchase separately or you can purchase all of them in one bundle. I included some photos of these packets below.
$22.00 BUNDLE OPTION HUMAN BODY: Human Body Systems, A Study of Cells Unit, Skeletal System Worksheet Packet, Digestive System, Circulatory System Unit (Plus, it includes the rough draft version of our muscular system packet which is not yet available publicly.)
- Cell Packet – Quick Preview
- Human Body Systems Quick Preview
- Skeletal System Packet – Quick Preview
- Digestive System Packet Preview
- Circulatory System Packet – Quick Preview
If you have any questions, feel free to contact me! ~Liesl
Each year usually in the spring semester, we focus on the human body.
We often spend a little bit of time reviewing what we learned the previous year and then add to what we learned.
If you have younger kids, you might want to just jump right in with the Skeletal System Unit and/or the Digestive System Unit.
Once my kids were a little older (with my youngest in 2nd grade and my older two in upper elementary) – we started covering and reviewing Cells (the organelles and their function) each year. I want them to feel comfortable with the names and have a general idea of the “jobs” each of these organelles have. By reviewing it each spring, they’ve gradually come to understand how these work together a little better each year. That will be helpful once they get to high school level biology.
If you have a student who is 8+ you might want to do the units in this order:
Note: Since our family studies one major system each year, sometimes we skim over some of this so we can dive in depth into that particular body system.
- Cell Unit
- Photosynthesis (and you can do a little tangent about atoms and building molecules)
- Human Body Systems (Depending on the age of your kids, you might want to just introduce them to the major human body systems and then move straight on to one of the units below… or you can spend a little time talking about how cells/tissues/organs/body systems work as a whole. The packet you are getting includes ALL the materials, but I’ve added to this over the course of several years, so don’t feel like you need to cover all of this at once!
- Skeletal System – We almost always review the major bones of the body each year. Some years, we go into more depth about things like the structure of bones or the axial system. Other times, we review the major bones and move on!
- Digestive System – This was a fun, hands-on unit. I would suggest you do this one before the Circulatory System unit.
- Circulatory System – In this unit my kids were in elementary and middle school so we did some data collecting, graphing and other activities. If you have younger kids, you can just focus on the blood system (how blood leaves the heart and enters the lungs to pick up oxygen, then returns to the heart where it is sent off to the extremities).
- Muscular System – We will be covering this next year (2018, fingers crossed!). This is a VERY ROUGH DRAFT of this packet… and I even hesitated including it in the bundle, but in the end thought it might come in handy if you cover this material before we do! When we get to this unit and when the file is updated you will get an email from SendOwl (the delivery service I use) letting you know!
Here are some screen shots of these units:
You can visit Our Store to find out more about our other packets!
Find out more at these posts:
- Human Body Systems–We started this unit with an overview of all the body systems. That’s because we only cover one unit about the human body each year. Last year, for example, we studied the circulatory system. (Human Body Unit: Heart and Circulatory System Activities)
Circulatory System Packet 40+ pages
Some of the topics covered in this packet include an overview of the circulatory system, the heart, blood vessels (arteries, veins, capillaries), blood flow through the heart, blood transport through the body, blood composition (red and white blood cells, platelets), blood types, cholesterol, and diseases of the circulatory system. Plus, we did a number of hands-on activities and the instructions (with photos) are included in this packet.
- Creating a Homeschool Science Curriculum (Elementary): Science topics to cover, choosing and preparing for units and more.
Check out our other science units:
- Rocks and Minerals: Free 25 page packet, free pages on the 3-types of rocks, lots of hands on activities
- Simple Machines: Lots of hands on activities, plus a student worksheet packet