Week 5 – Digestive System

Published by Kevin Lidington on

Digestive System

What is the digestive system?  What responsibilities does it have within our body?  Let’s take a journey through the digestive system this week.  Before we begin, let’s see how much you know about your own digestive system.  Take the following quiz and let’s find out.

Our digestive system takes the food we eat and the liquids we drink, then turns it into the fuel our bodies need. This process is called digestion.  This is a necessary function that allows our bodies to get the nutrients from the food we eat in order to fuel us through the day.   This all starts in the mouth as our teeth are used to chew the food and saliva is used to soften the food as it is then passed to the pharynx and then to the esophagus.  As it travels to the end of the esophagus, it arrives in the stomach of which it goes through different processes. It is then passed into the small intestine where most of your digestion occurs.  While it travels through the small intestine your pancreas and liver release juices in order to process fats and carbohydrates.  During its travels through your small intestines, your body is absorbing the nutrients it needs and passing it to your blood.  What it hasn’t yet absorbed is passed onto the large intestine which continues to absorb any remaining water and nutrients before it is expelled out your body through your rectum and anus.   Check out this video that goes through our digestive system.

Fun Facts about the digestive system:

  • The average person produces 2 pints of saliva every day. That is 32 ounces, or 2 cans of soda.
  • Enzymes in your digestive system are what separate food into the different nutrients that your body needs.
  • Your body can move your food through the digestive system even while you are standing on your head. It is not connected to gravity because it works with muscles.
  • The small intestine is about 22-23 feet long while the large intestine is only about 5 feet long.
  • Ever wonder why it smells bad when you pass gas? It is because it is produced by fermented bacteria and then mixed with air.
  • The stomach has the ability to stretch and hold up to 4 pounds of food at one time.
  • Aerobic exercise is the best type of exercise to keep your digestive tract in shape.
  • The longest attack of constant hiccups lasted 68 years.

Resources

Research/Reflect/Brainstorm

 Grab a notebook or your journal and research the following:

  • Research the parts of the digestive system. Write out and draw the parts of the digestive system and list the function of each part.
  • Next, read the article, “Robots may soon actively crawl through your gut” and watch the video included in the article. Write down 5 interesting things you learned from the article and video.

 Activity

 Group – As a group, create a colorful model of the Digestive System using a poster board, color pencils, scissors, markers, and anything else you need to create the digestive system.  Check out this link on the “Digestive System Group Activity Example” for reference.  

Individual – Watch the video, “food digestion 3d medical animation”.   Answer the following questions:

  • What did you think?
  • What is the “Epiglottis” and what is its function”?
  • What is “Peristalsis” and what is its role in the digestive system?
  • Your stomach produces a lot of enzymes and acid, what does this do to your food? Our food is broken down into small particles. How small is it?
  • What role do your pancreas and bile play into breaking down?
  • What are the small bowels of the small intestine’s role in the digestive system?
  • In an average adult, how long is the small bowel?
  • What role does the Large Bowel (colon) play in the digestive system?

BEST connection 

 Just as your food follows a path through the digestive system, so do you follow a pathway through school. There are 7 years from the time you enter 6th grade to the time you leave as a senior in HS. You cant go from 6th grade to 10th grade without going through the natural process of graduating each year. Not only do you learn more advanced work, but you also grow in maturity. We can compare this to your digestive system; you cant take food and just put it into your intestines, it must follow a path. Just as your food follows a path through the digestive system, so do you follow a pathway through school. There are 7 years from the time you enter 6th grade to the time you leave as a senior in HS. You cant go from 6th grade to 10th grade without going through the natural process of graduating each year. Not only do you learn more advanced work, but you also grow in maturity. We can compare this to your digestive system; you cant take food and just put it into your intestines, it must follow a path.
What connection does this have with BEST? If you started your BEST journey as a 6th grader then by the time you reach 9th grade you have some knowledge in many of the BEST aspects. Now, what if you just join BEST as a 9th grader and start your journey/ You would have missed some fundamentals. What do you think is the flow of knowledge that you can help introduce someone to BEST. Come up with a flowchart to help direct your team. This will help your team with new members and also veterans on your team. Come up with a list of non-negotaible items that someone must know or learn to become the BEST they can be.

 

Community Connection

There is a direct connection from our gut to our mental and physical health.  When we feel anxious or queasy, our gut tells our brain and then we start to decipher what is going on. Should I freeze, fight or run?   Is that a true thought or am I overreacting?  Then sometimes our stomach starts to ache or we start feeling a headache or our heart begins to race. They all connect back and forth, talking back and forth affecting our health. Your gut also aids in keeping us healthy from diseases and have the ability to fight off infections. Stress and worries from your brain can affect your gut health thus affecting your ability to fight off infections.

Your friends are like the gut connection to your brain.  If you have healthy friendships, then your outlook and choices will probably be more positive and encouraging. You forgive each other when you mess up, you take turns, you are honest with each other, thinking about their feelings, you spend time with one another and you accept each other for who they are. Think about how a healthy friendship could affect your feelings. If they were to support you and your ideas, how would that affect the way you feel about yourself?

An unhealthy or toxic relationship includes a lot of arguing, blaming, they try to control you, peer pressure, gossips about you, laugh at you and they point out your faults. How would a toxic relationship affect your physical health? Would your sleep and self-worth possibly be affected? How would this unhealthy relationship affect your behaviors and your feelings? If someone makes you feel ill, that is a great indicator they are toxic and not worthy of your awesomeness.  Are your friends helping you succeed or holding you back and possibly hurting your future? Do you need to leave a friendship or do you need to tell someone how much you appreciate them being your friend?  You deserve someone in your life that treats you right and appreciates you. If they are taking away your smiles, make you feel bad, and try to get you to do things you know are wrong, they don’t deserve your presence.

If you are interested in learning more about the gut to brain connection, see the resources below

 

Bloom’s Taxonomy: create, explore, evaluate, generate, include, identify, list, observe, reflect, review, use, and write

Workforce Skills – list workforce skills related to this lesson

Critical thinking, materials evaluation, reading comprehension, science, writing, research