Digestive System Unit – Small Intestine; Liver, Gall Bladder, Pancreas; Large Intestine

The past few weeks, we have been studying the digestive system.  We had studied the digestive system a number of years ago, but now that the kids are older (4th, 7th, 9th), I wanted to go into more depth — especially about the small intestine, liver, gall bladder, pancreas and large intestine. We talked about how different parts of the digestive tract functions and the role bile and pancreatic juice has in the digestion of food. Plus, we spent time talking about fiber and vitamins.

Digestive System Unit - worksheets lapbook and moreAs we started off this unit, we went over the basics about how the digestive tract functions. This was the quick review page they did:

Digestive System WorksheetThere is also a cut-and-paste on Digestive System Functions:

Digestive Functions Worksheet

I made a new digestive system flap book activity that the kids put together one day while I was reading from our science book (about the digestive system). 🙂

Digestive System Flapbook ActivityDigestive System Flap BookThen, we went over the Small Intestine; Liver, Gall Bladder, Pancreas; and Large Intestine. We talked about how food is transformed along the way, first in the mouth (when saliva mixes with the food) to form a bolus. Then in the stomach strong acid is mixed with the food.  As food then moves into the first portion of the small intestine, the duodenum, bile and pancreatic juice is added. The food is now called chyme. It moves through the small intestine and enters the cecum, the first portion of the large intestine where bacteria mix in and the food/mixture becomes feces. Finally, it moves through the large intestine where it leaves the body as excrement.

As we talked about each section, the kids colored in these great aprons I purchased at Oriental Trading.

As you can see, the apron was detailed enough that we could color in the different parts of the small intestine — the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum (which the kids did in different shades of purple and pink below).

They also colored in the different parts of the large intestine — the cecum, ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon, sigmoid colon, rectum and anus (in yellow/orange or yellow/red in the picture below).

They really enjoyed coloring in the aprons (even my 9th grade son!).

Digestive-System ActivitiesThese are the new notebook pages that I added to the Digestive System Packet:

As you can see in the picture below, I also added in a page that your kids can color if you don’t want to purchase the aprons! I added in a page with the various parts labeled. 🙂 Small intestines, liver gall bladder pancreas large intestines notebook pages

When we talked about the intestines, we did a fun hands-on activity using panty hose.  We had done this several years ago, but it was just as big a hit this time around!  I made a large batch of oatmeal and cut the toes off the panty hose. The kids put the oatmeal in the “mouth” and then squeezed the food down the digestive tract, just like muscles move the chyme (partly digested food) along.

We talked about the fact that you can eat or drink lying down… or even standing on your head. That’s because the muscles move the food along.

The kids squeezed the oatmeal in the panty hole until little bits of oatmeal oozed out.  I said this was similar to when the food has been broken down into small bits and the nutrients pass through the small intestine wall — from the villi to the blood vessels. (We looked closely at the villi which you can see on the notebook page above).

Digestive System Hands-on Activity

Here are some of the other Digestive System Notebook Pages included in this packet. Answers are provided!
Digestive System Worksheets - Notebook Pages

Here is a sample notebook page about the small intestine. On the left you can see the student fill-in-the-blank page. On the right is the full text version.  I would print the fill-in-the-blank page/s for my kids and then a full text version for myself. We would take turns reading and my kids would try to provide the missing answer. If they didn’t know, I would provide the answer from the full-text page. Answer pages are always provided both for notebook pages and for worksheets (such as a matching page).

Digestive System Notebook Page SampleWriting Assignment: As we concluded this portion of our unit, I had the kids write about food’s journey from beginning to end.  They had to write about the changes food undergoes as it makes its way along – from a bite of food to bolus to chyme to feces to excrement.  There are writing paper options, one with the assignment I had my kids do and one that is more generic that just says “Digestive System.” You can use that for your kids to write on a topic that you assign them. 🙂

Digestive System Writing Paper - Essay

Digestive System Packet Worksheets Activities

Nutrition Section

The last portion of our unit this time was about nutrition.

Enzymes and the Digestion of Carbohydrates Proteins and Fats WorksheetsWe talked about fiber and why it is so important in our diet. We looked at

  • What is fiber?
  • How much fiber do people need?
  • Where do you get fiber in your diet?
  • What does fiber do in our digestive system and how does it work?
  • What’s the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber?

And finally, the kids did an activity identifying foods that are high in fiber. Below you can see the food chart, the kids were given the chart with words or pictures missing and they had to cut those out and glue them onto their notebook page:

Fiber and our Digestive System worksheet and activityThe last activity we’ll be doing in this unit is about vitamins.  We’ll be going over what the various vitamins do and will talk about some of the problems someone can have when they are deficient in a particular vitamin.  We’ll be finishing this up this week, I’ll add a bit more about these activities in a few days. 🙂

Vitamin Worksheet

Again, those were added to the end of the Digestive System Packet. 🙂

The last time we studied the digestive system, we did a whole range of hands-on activities from making our own epiglottis  to seeing how the digestive tract works (how nutrients pass through). We made “fake”vomit, measured out the length of the digestive system and more! These are some of the notebook pages and lapbook/interactive notebook pages that are included in our Digestive System Packet:

Digestive-System-WorksheetsOur Digestive System Packet is now 150+pages has worksheets and activities on the following areas:

Introductory Page – Why do we eat food?
Part I — Digestive System: Mouth
Part II — Digestive System: Swallowing; How the Epiglottis Works

Part III — Digestive System: The Digestive Tract
Part IV – Digestive System Overview Pages
Part V – Digestive System Lapbook Materials and Flap Book Activity
Part VI – Small intestines; the liver, gall bladder & pancreas; and the large intestines Notebook Pages & Worksheets
Part VII – The Transformation of Food: Writing Pages
Part VIII – Introduction to Nutrition (New Section Added!)

• Functions of the Digestive System
• Essential Nutrients
• The Digestion of Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats
• Enzymes
• Saturated vs. Unsaturated Fats

Part IX Nutrition: Fiber and Vitamins

You can find out even more about what is included in the Digestive System Packet at this post. With all the new material, the Digestive System Packet

Our Digestive System Packet is $7.99. It is over 150 pages!

Our packets are PDF digital downloads. After your purchase, remember to check your PayPal email address for the download link. This page answers some Frequently Asked Questions. Feel free to email me if you have any questions! ~Liesl

Digestive System Unit: $7.99

Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link!

Digestive System UnitWe had two books we really used a lot for these units: Human Anatomy Coloring Book (affiliate link) has pages you can print out and color in.

Human-Anatomy-Coloring-BookAnd the The Body Book: Easy-to-Make Hands-on Models That Teach (affiliate link) has really neat models that you can make. We did the joints, bones of the body (see our model here), and some other things, but more about those in those other posts. :)

BodyBook-Hands-on-ActivitiesDisclosure: 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.

More about our Human Body Packets and BUNDLE Options!

These are some of the packets that are included in our Human Body Bundle.  See photos down below or at this Human Body Bundle Page or in Our Store.

Human Body Systems 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.

Our packets are PDF digital downloads. After your purchase, remember to check your PayPal email address for the download link. This page answers some Frequently Asked Questions. Feel free to email me if you have any questions! ~Liesl

$8.99 A Study of Cells Unit (150+pages) Animal and Plant Cells, Cell Theory, Organelles of the Cell, Photosynthesis and More

$4.99 Human Body Systems (50+ pages)

$6.99 Skeletal System Packet (90 pages)

$7.99 Digestive System (150+ pages)

$6.99 Circulatory System Unit (40 pages)

$5.99 Muscular System Unit (50+ pages)

$3.99 Nervous System Packet (20+ pages)

$5.99 Endocrine System Packet – (60 pages) Exocrine glands are those glands that have ducts and lead to the surface of the body… like sweat glands, tear glands whereas endocrine glands (like the hypothalamus or thyroid) secrete hormones into the bloodstream.

$5.99 Five Senses Unit: This 100+ page Five Senses Unit has dozens of hands-on activities and detailed, colorful worksheets for learning all about the five senses – sight & the eye, hearing & the ear, taste & the tongue, smell & the nose, touch & the skin. (NOTE: This unit is NOT included in the Human Body BUNDLE 1 or 2.) Recommended for PreK to Early Elementary. View Post, image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4, image 5

$35.99 Human Body BUNDLE OPTION 1: Human Body Systems, Skeletal System Packet, Digestive System, Circulatory System Unit, Muscular System Packet, Nervous System Packet, Endocrine System, Reproductive System Worksheets (Does not include the Study of Cells Unit or the Five Senses Unit.)

$42.99 Human Body BUNDLE OPTION 2: Human Body Systems, A Study of Cells Unit, Skeletal System Packet, Digestive System, Circulatory System Unit,  Muscular System Packet, Nervous System Packet, Endocrine System, Reproductive System Worksheets (We often talked about cells as we started our Human Body Units… then went on to talk about human body cells, tissues, organs & systems… and then would move on to a different body system each year. Generally as homeschoolers, we covered just one or two major body systems each year before moving on to another science topic.) (Does not include the Five Senses Unit.)

$38.99 Human Body BUNDLE OPTION 3: Human Body Systems, Skeletal System Packet, Digestive System, Circulatory System Unit, Muscular System Packet, Nervous System Packet, Endocrine System, Reproductive System Worksheets AND The Five Senses Unit (Does not include the Study of Cells Unit.)

Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me! ~Liesl

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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!

Muscular System Worksheets

Here are some screen shots of these units:

  $8.99 A Study of Cells Unit

Cell Packet - Cell Unit Homeschool Curriculum

$4.99 Human Body Systems

Human Body Systems Worksheets and Activities

Human Body Systems Worksheets Human Body Systems and their Organs

  $6.99 Skeletal System Packet

Skeletal System WorksheetsRecently updated with new material! This packet is now about 90 pages.Skeletal System Worksheets and Notebook Pages $5.99 Muscular System Unit (50+ pages)

Muscular System Unit and Hands-On ActivitiesMuscular System Unit Notebook Pages or BookletMuscular System Worksheets

  $7.99 Digestive System

Digestive System Worksheets and Activities

  $6.99 Circulatory System Unit (40 pages)

Circulatory System Worksheets and Activities

$5.99 Muscular System Unit (50+ pages)

Muscular System Unit and Hands-On ActivitiesMuscular System Unit Notebook Pages or BookletMuscular System Worksheets

$3.99 Nervous System Packet (20+ pages)

Nervous System Worksheet Packet

Nervous System Worksheets

Don’t forget to check your PayPal email address for the download link.

You can visit Our Store to find out more about our other packets! :)

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See you again soon here or over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page! Don’t forget to Subscribe to our Homeschool Den Newsletter. You might also want to check out some of our resources pages above (such as our Science, Language Arts, or History Units Resource Pages) which have links to dozens of posts.  You might want to join our free Homeschool Den Chat Facebook group.  Happy Homeschooling, everyone!!  ~Liesl

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