Skip Navigation
Search

Digestion

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD, and Barbara Tharp, MS.

What's Really In That Mouth?

To focus students’ attention, ask, Why do you think we have teeth? Lead a class discussion about what happens to food as we eat it. Students should know that teeth are important to tear the foods we eat into smaller pieces that are easy to chew and swallow. 

Then ask, Why do you think we have saliva? What does saliva do during digestion? Where does our food go after we swallow it? 

Challenge students to think about the parts of the human digestive tract, and to name as many parts as they know. You also may want to challenge them to estimate how long it takes for a human to digest food. Tell students that food usually stays in the stomach for two to three hours, after which it passes into the small intestine, where it is combined with secretions from the liver and pancreas. 


Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Number: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932