The Digestion Project

There is a huge emphasis on student directed learning and that meant that I would need to change the way I taught digestion.  Sure, I could teach the process, all the organs and their functions to my students in a PPT and then give them a test, but that would not be very engaging, creative or student directed in any way.  So, below is the new way I will be having my students learn about digestion.


  • Provide each student with a cracker and have them take a bite.  Ask them what is happening to the cracker as they are eating it.  Take in all of their responses and lead them to the topic of digestion as they finish their cracker.


  • Crackers
  • Laptops or iPads
  • Butcher Paper or Large Construction Paper
  • Play-doh and/or Recycled Materials (paper towel tubes, packing peanuts, egg cartons, yarn, rope, pom-poms, etc.)
  • Glue (for recycled materials)
  • Markers


  • Read over the directions for the Digestion Project and answer any questions students may have and then randomly assign students into small groups of 3-4 depending on the class size.
  • Students begin by drawing a human body outline of a realistic person or a cartoon character and giving it a creative name/title.
  • Students will use the internet, suggested websites/articles and videos to learn about the digestive system/process.
  • Students will research the function of each organ involved in the digestion process and write it on their notes sheet (found in the TPT freebie below)
  • Students will research what each of the organs looks like and then construct a model of each   Organs can be made out of Play-doh and/or recycled materials such as those listed above. Students are encouraged to be as realistic in their models as possible.
  • Students will put the digestive system models together, in the correct order and label each organ with name and a brief explanation of its function.
  • Finally, each student in the group will find a “fun fact” to share about digestion, an organ/function or the process and neatly write it below the human outline.
  • Students will share their projects with the class, sharing their fun facts.
  • Instead of a test, I will have students individually complete this free TPT activity titled Digestive System Narrative Activity as a way of showing me they understand the concept of digestion.
  • Optional Extension Activity:  Have students research some digestive disorders and put together a presentation to share with their classmates.  Topics may include: Acid indigestion, acid reflux (GERD), allergies, burping, colon cancer, Crohn’s disease, constipation, diarrhea, gas, heartburn, IBS, lactose intolerance, or ulcers.   Presentations could include pictures, stats, causes, treatments, symptoms, etc.



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Image courtesy of dream designs at Free Digital Photos


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