The Digestive System, Alison’s Montessori

  • Science, Human Anatomy 3-6, 6-12
  • Did you hear about the Montessori story “The Great River”? As explained in this traditional Montessori story, the human body is a world of its own, populated by billions of inhabitants (cells). The brain governs this world where every department (organ) is responsible for a function. It is fascinating for children in the upper elementary level to associate the human body to such an analogy.
  • Meanwhile, children in the lower elementary years, and even in the primary years, enjoy exploring the human body systems and its parts through engaging materials.
  • In this post, I share how we used The Digestive System Puzzle from Alison’s Montessori to learn about the amazing way that food travels through the body.

Materials

How we used it

  • First, the children watched a short digital demo on how food travels through the alimentary canal.
  • Using books, we got familiar with the functions of each part and process of the digestive system.
Wooden Labels for the Puzzle
  • Following our reading, the children used the wooden puzzle of the Digestive System, and placed the wooden labels to get familiar with parts. They began to work with the nomenclature cards to associate the parts with names. This is a good way to start self-assessment. The children will store this information in their short term memory. They know to revisit the materials in the next days to consolidate their knowledge.
  • Finally, we conducted an impressionistic experiment to replicate the digestion process. We used a ziplock bag, in which we pounded 3 crackers with water, baking soda, and vinegar. We watched the process of a churning stomach soaked with gastric juices in action. We watched how a bolus is turned into chyme through mechanical and chemical processes. See experiment below:

Experiment

Why we like it

As always with a puzzle, we are able to separate each part of the system, and reconstruct it. We can distinguish where each part begins and ends. The wooden labels also serve as self-assessment.

Take the digestive system apart!

In addition to the puzzle, the nomenclature cards are a great extension. The children can work with sets of cards and isolate different concepts (chemical digestion, mechanical digestion, organs that produce chemicals, the alimentary canal, etc…).

The Digestive System – Nomenclature Cards
The Digestive System – Nomenclature cards

Extra Resources

  • Find below some resources that we found useful.
How the Body Works – DK
Stamp set at Alison’s Montessori

I hope this review was helpful to you. Alison’s Montessori always thrives to create quality educational materials. They have entrusted me, at no cost, with no obligation, with this material. I tested it with children, and I am pleased with the outcome, which is why I choose to share it on my blog.

4D Master Model Human Stomach
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