Via shared reading experiences using non-fiction materials and Internet research, we learned about the components of the digestive system and created a diagram of the applicable organs. The children learned that the mouth, esophagus, stomach, gall bladder, pancreas, liver, small and large intestines work together in the digestion process. They had an opportunity to see how acids and enzymes help break down hard-to-digest foods like meats and starches.
@4H(afterH):Why do people eat plants and animals?
People eat a wide variety of foods to help keep their bodies healthy and strong. Different foods provide energy and contain vitamins and nutrients that help keep our bodies in good working condition. People depend on plants and animals as food sources because they contain these energy sources, vitamins, and nutrients. Also, people, as are other animals, are classified by the foods that they eat. People who eat plants are called herbivores. Those who eat meat are called carnivores. Most of us eat both of these food sources, and we are called omnivores.
What are the components of the human digestive system?
The human digestive system consists of the mouth (including teeth, tongue, taste buds, epiglottis, palate); the esophagus also known as our food pipe; the stomach, which uses acids and enzymes to break down food even further so it can pass through other parts of the body; the liver, which produces bile, a chemical used to help break down the food; the gall bladder, which stores and releases bile to the small intestines; the pancreas, which supplies enzymes that help break down our food; the small intestines, which digests the food into minute particles so that it can be absorbed and used where needed within body cells; the large intestine or colon, which helps to discard waste products from our body. Despite these findings, additional questions were raised, sparking the desire to learn more about the subject matter.
How long does it take for the human body to digest food?
Approximately 8-12 hours.
How long is the esophagus?
It is approximately18 inches long.
If you eat a sandwich and you stand on your head while chewing and swallowing, will your food come back out?
You would think so, but remarkably enough, the digestion process continues and your food will go down. The muscles in your digestive system are powerful, moving the food downward. Swallowing, peristalsis, stomach and intestinal activity help to continue the digestion process.
@4H(afterH): What are salivary glands, and what do they produce?
The salivary glands are found beneath your tongue and inside your cheek. They produce saliva, a liquid found in the mouth. It helps to start the digestion process.
What is peristalsis and what is its purpose?
Peristalsis is the squeezing of muscles in the intestines. Peristalsis helps food move through your digestive organs.
What chemical used to breakdown food is released to the small intestine by the gall bladder?
Bile is the chemical. It helps to break down food so that it can travel from the stomach into the intestines into other parts of our body.
What part of the body does the most digestion?
The small intestines conduct the most digestion.
What is waste, and through which part of the body is waste released?
After your body has digested all of the food, it discards what it does not need. The unneeded food is called waste. Solid waste is stored in the large intestines until it is ready to be expelled. (Liquid waste, produced in our kidneys, is stored in the bladder. Our liquid waste is called urine.) When solid waste leaves our body, it is released through the rectum as feces.
Why is the mouth so important to digestion?
Think about the mouth and what is contained therein. We have molars, incisors, and canines, teeth that are used to grind, bite and chew our food. By using teeth, food is broken down into small pieces. We have our tongue and taste buds, which contribute to our ability to taste and feel the texture of foods we eat. They too help break down food so that we may swallow. The beginning of the digestion process occurs in our mouth. That is why our mouth is so very important.
What is a palate? Does it help food go down the right pipe? If not, what does?
We have two pipe-like tubes that begin in the back of our mouths: our windpipe (the trachea) and our food pipe (the esophagus). What do you think would happen if swallowed food went down into our windpipe? You’ve guessed it. We would perhaps be unable to catch our breath, cough and/or choke. What parts of the body help protect against such occurrences?
The palate, which separates the mouth from our nasal cavity, is the roof of the mouth. Divided into a hard and soft part, it does not help food go down the esophagus. During swallowing, the palate blocks off the entrance to the rear nasal passage. The part of the palate we see in the back of our mouth is called the uvula. It rises up and down when we swallow, as the palate rises and descends. Another body part, the epiglottis (located at the back of the mouth at the top of our windpipe), serves as sort of a safety valve. The epiglottis helps to prevent food from going down the wrong pipe.
What are we doing when we masticate our food?
We are chewing our food.
What do the pancreas, liver, and gall bladder do?
They help make acids and enzymes needed to break down food. Acids and enzymes are chemicals that are used to break down foods in the stomach and small intestines. Note also that the liver also helps clean your blood.