View Full Version : Digestive System Lab

03-01-2014, 02:13 PM
I'm not a huge knowledgeable science person, but I ran this past a few friends and looked at a few different resources. Any errors are mine.


Prepared oatmeal with brown sugar
Vegetable oil (“butter”)
Colored water (“juice” or “lemonade”)
Orange juice (“digestive juices”)
Dish soap (“bile”)
Gallon zip lock bag (“mouth”, “stomach”, “duodenum”)
Panty hose with one leg tied off (“jejunum”, “ileum”, “colon”, “rectum”, “anus”)
Fingers (“incisors”, “canines”, “premolars”, “molars”)
Small bowl and whisk

1. Place oatmeal and toast into mouth to be ground up by the premolars and molars and ripped by the incisors and canines.
2. Pretend the oatmeal and toast go through the esophagus to the stomach. Add digestive juices and churn/slosh the stomach to simulate the chemical digestion process. Pretend the chyme is entering the duodenum.
3. Put juice/lemonade and butter into small bowl. Observe separation of butter and water. Add bile to emulsify the fats.
4. Pour emulsified mixture into the duodenum with the chyme. (Talk about how the bile would actually be excreted to the duodenum, but we did it separately to watch the emulsion process.)
5. Pour contents of duodenum into the jejunum and pretend you are squeezing through the ileum to the colon. Discuss the villi and the absorption of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients as they leave the small intestine and enter the large intestine (the watery ooze escaping the panty hose). Discuss absorption of water.
6. Pretend you are move the remains through the colon and rectum until it is stopped at the anus. Make sure all the watery liquid has been extracted via the large intestine (SQUEEEEEEZE!).
7. Cut a hole in the panty hose to simulate the anus opening. Push the undigested waste (feces, poop, stool) out the hole.

The kids and I wrote this together, so our steps show the ingredients pretend names instead of their real names. It worked a little too well and the kids kept moaning "DISGUSTING" and "I'm NEVER eating oatmeal AGAIN." Hahahahahahaha. I asked them to write down what they learned. My seven-year-old girl wrote: "I loved it! I learned that Mom doesn't like to scweas the stuff into the sink! Hahahaha! I also learned that the gallbladder stors the bile. It was so cool, but so so sooo disgusting! I did not like it one bit."


03-01-2014, 02:18 PM
I think one of the more interesting parts was that our water was colored green. The orange juice was of course orange. At the very end, when we pushed the undigested waste/roughage out, there was no color to it at all… They thought that was really interesting in regards to the nutrient absorption angle, etc.

And they liked watching the faces I made as I was pretending to be the muscles squeezing all the food through our digestion system. Reminds me of the other thread about having fun with our kids. :)

(They absolutely REFUSED to squeeze the gunk through the panty hose. Haha.)

03-01-2014, 06:29 PM

03-04-2014, 11:00 AM
We did something similar a couple of weeks ago and it was a huge hit here! Our kids 3, 5, and 7 LOVED it. The 3 year old asked me the other day when we were going to make poop again.

03-04-2014, 02:04 PM
Do you have any improvements/suggestions on what we did? :D

03-04-2014, 06:18 PM
We did something similar a couple of weeks ago and it was a huge hit here! Our kids 3, 5, and 7 LOVED it. The 3 year old asked me the other day when we were going to make poop again.

I hope you said, "Every day, Sweetie, every day." :)

03-05-2014, 11:16 AM
This is just so hilarious, I have to try it. LOL. Let's make poop!

03-27-2014, 02:23 PM
Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you. It sounds like you did a much more in depth version than us. I might try it again sometime using your ideas.

We ate different foods ourselves to evaluate how our different teeth are used. I used this idea from The Magic School Bus: The Magic School Bus for Lunch | Scholastic.com (http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/lesson-plan/magic-school-bus-lunch)

Then we made stomachs and small intestines using this idea: Digestive System Experiments (http://home.gwu.edu/~olacey/Digestive%20Experiments.htm)

I used an anatomy atlas as we went and a book we found at the library to describe the digestion process in each area. We didn't do anything specific for the large intestine but I explained that our "poop" was so watery because we were lacking a colon and we talked a little about colon function.