Worksheets and lesson ideas to challenge students aged 11 to 16 to think hard about digestion, the digestive system and balanced diets (GCSE and Key Stage 3)
This is a great demonstration to help students conceptualise the different processes that occur within the digestive system. Use this opportunity to review the differences between physical and chemical changes as digestion is a helpful context to clarify these key terms.
Where to start?
Put a large sheet of paper on the floor and draw around a student whilst the other students gather around. Then draw on the position of different organs, using other students in the class to help. This would be a good way to activate prior knowledge and build on ideas as a group. Alternatively you could use this apron model of inside the human body. By hanging the apron over a student the class can easily see the location of each organ in the body and its relationship to others. You could ask students to then remove organs that are NOT involved in digestion.
The digestive system
GCSE and Key Stage 3 worksheet on the digestive system. I think it helps students understand digestion if they see the digestive system as one long (0.9 m) tube. First show students this incredible video of the digestive system from the National Geographic. In this activity students draw, label and state the parts of the digestive system, extending the structure from the mouth and finishing at the anus. (PDF)
Nutrients, nutrition and a balanced diet
Key Stage 3 worksheet on nutrients and balanced diets. Students evaluate the healthiness of an inflight snack box by considering the nutrients in each food. They then design their own, alternative and (hopefully healthier!) snack box. (PDF)
Click the link for teaching resources to help teach about enzyme function.
- Digestive system
- Heart and the circulatory system
- Nerves and hormones
- Respiratory system and lung structure
- Reproduction in humans
- Skeletal system