Digestive System

The following activities can be found below.
They can be done in class or suggested for study groups or individual study.  I know class time is limited, but some students might like to try the activities on their own.  A little extra credit can be very inspiring for out-of-class endeavors.

1) Make a Digestive System
2) Alternate make a digestive system
3) Diary of a Bolus
4) Rhyme Time

1) MAKE A DIGESTIVE SYSTEM. (This is written to the student)
A) Find any tubes you can lying around the house:
old inner tubes, PVC pipe, dryer vent pipe, paper towel rolls, toilet paper rolls, rubber hose, garden hose, anything!
If you have different types of tubes, assign them to be different parts (esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon (even sections of colon and small intestine if you like), rectum.

Then label the tubes with what they are and what happens there.

B) While labeling, use one color to identify any outside input, i.e. hormones or enzymes, etc. are added at that point in the trip.

C) Use a different color to label what is extracted at that point in the trip.

D) Find other bits of junk to represent adjunct players like the liver, gall-bladder and pancreas.

E) Then have fun running boluses (marbles/ ping-pong balls, whatever will fit) through your digestive system describing the action.


A) Get hold of a marble run kit.

B) Set it up using platforms where you will be able to stop the bolus.

C) Label the various sections of your marble run as parts of the digestive system as described above.

D) When you run your ‘bolus’ through, stop it at the platforms or drop-offs and describe what is happening to the bolus.

Both exercise 1 & 2 would be more fun and a lot easier if tackled as a group. Assign a part or parts of the system to each person. They will be responsible for making the labels and bringing the tubing if doing activity #1. Get together and build it and share what you’ve learned. If someone videos the proceedings then you all can use it to study – and who knows maybe receive some credit for it!


Describe what happens to the bolus as it traverses the system in the bolus’ own words. Adding humor to this will make it more memorable.


Whenever you can, come up with rhymes that will remind you what something is or what it does.
For example:
– The bolus is almost out when it’s rollin through the colon. –
– The gall bladder matters with meals that are fatter.

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