Biology is an important and fascinating science for kids to learn. For example, learning about the human body and how it works is especially important in order to understand how to keep it healthy. However, it is often difficult for kids to understand the different organ systems and how they operate. One method kids can use to learn about a certain body system is by building a model. The digestive system is one of the more complicated organ systems in the body but by building a simplified model of the entire system, kids can learn the organs involved and how they function.
Learn about the digestive system. You can’t make a model of an organ system if you don’t know what organs are involved, where they are located, or what they do. The major organs in the digestive system are the mouth, salivary glands, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, rectum and anus. Learn how food moves through the digestive system, what the function of each organ is, and, especially, how the organs are connected to each other.
Make a plan on how to design your model and obtain appropriate materials. Use pipes or tubing for the tubular organs such as the esophagus and intestines (cardboard paper towel tubes work great for straight tracts like the esophagus), empty soda or milk bottles for organs like the mouth and stomach, jelly beans for the salivary glands, and molded play dough or modeling clay for solid organs like the gall bladder, liver, and pancreas. As an alternative, use different colored play dough or modeling clay to create all the organs and fit them together.
Work on the different organs one by one. Start at the beginning of the digestive tract, the mouth, and by following a diagram of the digestive system, work your way down, forming and attaching each organ as you go. If using clay or play dough, form the organs into their appropriate shapes using a different color for each organ. If using tubing, form the hollow digestive system first, and then form and attach the solid organs. If desired, cut out images or labels for the major organs and attach them to the model.
Things You Will Need
- Tubing or piping
- Colored paper
- Adhesive materials (glue or tape)
- Organ images or labels
- Clean plastic bottles
- Clay or play dough of different colors
- Jelly beans
- Be creative. Come up with different ideas for creating a model of the digestive system by reusing or recycling old materials from the home, or research ways to create a working model with moving parts.
- Dale Davidson/Demand Media