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Junkyard Digestion

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Portable Document Format
Average Rating
4.9 out of 5 stars from 8 ratings.
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Description A hands-on exploration of the digestive system organs and their functions for high school students. Grades 10 and up. This teaching resource was developed by a K-12 science teacher in the American Physiological Society’s 2007 Frontiers in Physiology Program. For more information on this program, please visit www.frontiersinphys.org.
Type of Resource Assessment: other, Assignment/Activity (Non-Laboratory/Non-Hands on Activity), Laboratory or Hands-On Activity, Lesson Plan, Teaching Strategies & Guidelines
Format Portable Document Format - PDF
Diana Hill, Putnam City High School
Development Date May 22, 2003
Grade/Age Levels High School lower division (Grades 9-10)
High School upper division (Grades 11-12)
National Science
Educational Standards
Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry (K-12), Form and function (K-12), Matter, energy, and organization in living systems (9-12), Personal and community health (9-12), Systems, order, and organization (K-12)
Learning Time 6-9 hours
Language English
Type of Review Reviewed By LifeSciTRC Board
Review Date December 7, 2010
Suggested Use


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I will try this and modify it for the middle school students (Grades6-8).

Sumei Liu, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

I will modify it by making it a team effort. I have 9 students. The first group will represent what happens in the mouth and esophagus. The second group will represent what occurs in the stomach. The third group will represent the small intestine. The fourth group will represent the large intestine.

Jennifer Zinman, Lacordaire Academy

I like that the students will be able to build a model and meet some of the engineering standards with the NGSS. It has the students look at various processes of digestion while also getting to build and construct a model.

Georgia Everett, Western High School

Will definitely try this next year but worried that the students may not come through by bringing in materials when the time came.  

camille jensen, Lincoln Way North High School

I like it, but will need to edit/amend something to include digestion systems of animals to connect my Agriculture Biology students. Interesting way for the competition between my Ag and regular Bilogy students to finish off the year.
Thanks Diana for the idea and lay out.
Lena Weeda, KTL Charter School

This hands-on inquiry activity can be tailored for middle to upper level high school students simply by the extensions you choose and the questioning you use. I have done it with multiple size groups and students love it!
Margaret Stieben, APS

An exercise that encourages students to create a working model of the digestive tract using scrap materials. Digestive movements are contributed solely by students manipulating the model by hand - they can simulate peristalsis, segmentation, etc.

The teacher may want to provide some specific enzymes for students to add to the mix... If students contribute their own saliva as a source of enzymes, you need to take care to prevent possible infection transfer...
Dexter Speck, University of Kentucky

Interesting approach for studying the digestive system.
Erik Henriksen, University of Arizona