The Digestive System Lab

The Digestive System Lab
During this lab you will come in contact with
food and other lab equipment. You may NOT eat
any of the food or misuse any of the digestive
system lab equipment.
For this lab, we are going to use different
objects to represent different parts of the
digestive system.
Water = Saliva
Cracker = Food
Pantyhose =
Small Intestine
Banana = Stomach
Cocoa Powder =
gastric juices
The class will be split up into groups of
7 people. Get into your groups now!
Each person in the group will have a job to do.
1. Teeth – pick up 2 crackers
2. Enzymes in saliva– pick up piece of banana
3. Saliva – pick up cup of water
4. Stomach – pick up Ziploc bag
5. Small intestine – pick up one pantyhose
6. Large intestine – pick up cup with paper
7. Rectum – pick up cocoa powder
• There is newspaper available to cover your
table. Please make sure your table is covered
before you start.
Step 1
Teeth – The person with the cracker – break
your crackers into 4 pieces. Hold them in your
hands and try not to get crumbs anywhere.
This is like chewing. Teeth are the first part of the
digestive system.
Step 2
.We will skip over the esophagus and go
straight from the mouth to the stomach.
-What does the esophagus do?
The person with the Ziploc bag – hold the bag
as we go. You are the stomach. The person
with the crackers, Put the cracker pieces into
the Ziploc bag.
Step 3
The person with the banana put the piece of a
banana into the bag.
-This is like the enzymes that help break
down the food.
Step 4
The person with the water, pour a small
amount of water into the bag.
-This is like the saliva from your mouth
Step 5
The person with the cocoa powder, pour the
cocoa powder into the bag.
-This is like the gastric juices the stomach
Step 6
The person with the Ziploc bag, squeeze out
all the air and close the bag tightly.
-Make sure it is completely closed.
-If you leave air in there, it will be like what
happens when you have gas.
Step 7
Pass the bag around so that each person gets
a turn. Each person, smash the cracker,
banana, water and cocoa powder together
for a few minutes.
-This is like the churning that the stomach
• Return the bag to its
original owner.
Step 8
Get your stocking ready.
After your food is churned up, cut a very small
hole in the bottom corner of the bag.
-You will need help for this!
Step 9
•The person holding the stocking, get help cutting
a small hole in the bottom of your stocking.
•The person holding the Ziploc bag, pour the food
from the stomach (bag) into the small intestine
•Watch as all the water from your food goes
through the wall of the small intestine.
•This water will now go to the rest of your body
where it is needed.
Step 10
We will now squeeze the food from the small
intestine (stocking) into the large intestine
Each person take a turn and squeeze the food
down the stocking a small bit until it has
made its way to the bottom with the hole.
. The person holding the cup - the cup will have a
small hole in the bottom so make sure you are
holding your cup over the tray on your table!
Step 11
The person holding the cup is now holding the
cup over a the tray
The cup has a paper towel in it to absorb the
water just like the large intestine.
-The waste products—the parts of the food
your body can’t use, will get packed
Step 12
Pretend the trash can is the toilet and dump
the waste products in, representing the end
of the digestion process.
Time to Clean up!
Throw away…
Ziploc bag
Cup with hole
Paper towel
Rinse and put back…
Water cup
Discussion Questions
1. What did adding the banana and water do?
2. What besides water seeps out of the small
intestine (pantyhose)?
3. What organ did we not include in this lab?
4. What could we have used to represent that
Digestive System Movie

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