Digestion - Teacher Introduction
National Standards:
UCP.1: Systems, order, and organization
UCP. 4: Evolution and Equilibrium
UCP. 5: Form and function
C.4: Interdependence of organisms
C.5: Matter, energy, and organization in living systems
C.6: Behavior of organisms
F.1: Personal and community health
F.2: Population growth
Humans rarely have the opportunity to appreciate the complexity of life. Our food and digestion are part of an intricate system. Students eat the food from the cafeteria and go about their day not thinking much about where the food came from, what is happening to it now, why they are able to eat what they eat, and what impact that might have on others. This unit begins to demonstrate the components of food and answers to some of the above questions. Students begin with a letter asking for their help in creating a pop-up book to explain how biomes, food webs, digestive systems, and culture all play a role in determining what we eat. Research activities, hands-on interactions, and creation of the books assist students in learning about this complex system.
Day 1:
Introduction letter: Handout and read aloud the letter from the World Dietary Council in this unit. Ask students to use the bottom of their letters to write

a KWL for this unit. Start by drawing two vertical lines to create three columns on the paper. Title the first column KNOW, the second NEED TO KNOW, and the third LEARNED. Then ask them to fill in the first two columns for themselves with what they know and what they need to know about this unit. When students finish this individually, develop a KWL as a whole class from the letter and write it on butcher block paper. Make three columns on the paper, the first column titled KNOW, the second NEED TO KNOW, and the third LEARNED. Use the letter as your focus. Ask students what they know from the letter or that applies to the letter. For example, they know they will need to create a pop-up book, they may know from previous experience the large intestine absorbs water. Whatever is said, write it under the KNOW heading. For the second column, ask the students what they need to know to accomplish the task presented in the letter. For example, they need to know about the food pyramid. Write their answers in the second column. The third column will remain blank until the end of the unit. Post the KWL butcher block paper in the classroom as a reminder for students and complete the learned column on

the last day.

Discuss the intended outline of events for this unit. Use this teacher introduction as a guide.

Day 2:

Biomes: Jigsaw day 1. See the document in this unit. Students will break into 6 groups to research a specific biome. You may want to offer computer time for the research, or print resources for the students to use. Students will need a model of the foldable before they begin taking notes. It is very simple and the directions are listed in the document.

Day 3:

Biomes: Jigsaw day 2. Students form new groups with one member from each previous group in the new group. They share the information gathered yesterday with the new members and each student writes a foldable for each biome. At the end of this sharing, each student should have 6 foldables. The foldables will be compiled into a packet with a map on the back. You may need to model this for the students. See the document in this unit.

Day 4:

Biomes: Map activity. On the back of the packets, students have a blank world map. (The map can be printed from http://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/teacher_lessons/worldmap1.jpg). On the map, have students design a key/legend to associate a color with a biome. For example: brown = desert, white = tundra, etc. Using the information they have gathered about biomes from research and classmates, have students color the map according to biome. For example, color the Sahara Desert brown, Alaska and Northern Canada white, etc. This will be difficult for students because they may not be familiar with geography, so you may want to work with the history teacher. Also, some regions of the world have incredible diversity. For example, Oregon is deciduous and rainforest (on the coast) and desert all in one small state. I would not expect students to provide that much detail. I would be happy with a color representative of the majority of Oregon or the Pacific NW. The intent is for students to have a basic understanding of how the world differs in biomes.

Begin filling in the learned column on the KWL poster and on their letters. Ask students what they have learned so far that will be helpful for the final project. Write the answers down on the KWL poster, under the learned column. Additionally, have students offer responses about how biomes and digestion are related. It may be too early for them to connect this, but they definitely need to have the idea planted to be thinking about the connection.

Day 5:

Food chain introduction: Present the powerpoint notes for food chain/web vocabulary and tie in to biomes.

Food web activity: Prepare for this activity by writing the following organism names on separate cards: conifer trees, marsh grasses, birch trees, cranberry bush, raspberry plant, mosquito, squirrel, snowshoe hare, vole, salmon, bald eagle, moose, bear, wolverine, ermine, arctic fox, beetle, and lynx. Then, string yarn through the tops of the card to make necklaces for the students to wear the notecards. For added interest, find and copy pictures of the organisms onto the notecards. Students select a notecard with an organism and label it as producer, consumer, etc. After putting the notecards on, students arrange themselves in a circle. Ask for a producer to raise their hand. Hand a ball of yarn to the producer. Next, a primary consumer needs to ask for the yarn. The producer will hold onto one end of the ball and send the rest to the consumer, making a link between producer and consumer. They will continue to hold onto the yarn until the very end of the game. Next the yarn goes to a secondary consumer, and so on, until the decomposer gets the yarn. After the decomposer, another producer starts a new cycle. Continue this until each student has at least one loop of the yarn. Stop passing the ball of yarn at this point and ask the students to hold their yarn and look at the web created. Ask for observations. Ask students these questions and talk about the answers: what biome do you think this food web is a part of? (Taiga) what happens when an organism becomes extinct?, what about natural disasters like forest fires, tsunamis, etc? Try dropping the yarn from one of the organisms, and then everyone down line from the organism. What happens? Discuss and then clean up.

Have students sit down and take notes. On their note paper from earlier, ask them to think about and then answer the questions from above. Although you probably discussed these as a group during the activity, it is important for students to write down their thoughts and understanding about that discussion.

Day 6:

Food web illustrations (see document). Students illustrate two food webs from different regions or biomes in the world. The food webs must be accurate, labeled, and neatly drawn.

Day 7:

Food web illustrations continued. After work time, have students sit in groups of 3 and share their food webs with each other. This will be an opportunity for students to assess and offer suggestions to classmates, as well as reinforce the knowledge of plants and animals found in different biomes. When finished with this and all students are back to their desks, ask how they can use the information learned about food webs in their pop-up books. Discuss ideas as a class and have students write some down on the back of the letter they received the first day of this unit. Also, continue filling in the learned column on the KWL poster and on their letters. Ask students what they have learned so far that will be helpful for the final project. Write the answers down on the KWL poster, under the learned column.

Day 8:

Write these questions on the board and ask students to sit and think about them while you take attendance. Then, have students either discuss answers or write down their ideas. What does the food web have to do with humans? What does the food web have to do with supply and demand? Where do we fit on the food web? How does location influence food availability?

Introduce food pyramid by showing the students the US Food pyramid and explaining the components to them. Have the students draw the new pyramid and write explanations and examples of food in each category, or print the documents and review it as a class. The food pyramid for kids is listed as a document in this unit with two versions. You may want to print both, one on each side of a paper. The versions show the same information in different ways. After discussing the US food pyramid, ask students about other pyramids or food guides they may be familiar with. Are there other countries they have visited? Do they know the US had a different food pyramid in the past? The next project will allow them to explore some of the various food pyramids in the world. Pass out the paper for the activity "food pyramids in other countries." Read it together and then ask students to choose a country to investigate. The websites offered in this activity (see food pyramid comparison document) have information for the following countries: Australia, Great Britian, China, Canada, Phillipines, Korea, Germany, Mexico, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Sweden, and catgeories: Asian, Mediterranean, Latin American, Vegetarian You may want to write these on the board and then have students sign up under which one they want.

Day 9:

Continue food pyramid project.

So far, the activities have helped students learn the WHY portion of the initial question: why and how do we eat what we eat? Discuss this with the students and elicit more items to write on the KWL chart. During your discussion, ask students how they will use the information they have learned so far in their pop-up books. Encourage students to write down ideas they have and begin forming a story line or outline of their books.

Day 10:

Share pyramid projects with the whole class. Have students present their pyramids (all students with the same country can present together, though they will each have a project to turn in). Ask them to point out the differences in the pyramids, what makes them unique, anything interesting they discovered, and why they think some items may be on their pyramid that were not on the US pyramid. Suggest they refer to the "helpful suggestions" portion of this assignment for ideas of what to present.

Handout and discuss the pop-up book rubric (see document). At this point, the class has covered three of the four major areas of the pop-up book. Remind them of the KWL list and what they have learned. Ask for any additional items to be added to the list. On the back of the rubric, have students write a story line or outline for their books. Yesterday we suggested it, today we do it. If they did it yesterday, they are ready for the next step. They may begin construction of their books. Have pop-up books available for them to look at for construction ideas. Joan Irvine has an excellent book on how to make pop-ups. Even though we have not covered the digestive system yet, students should have a good start for their books. Reassure them they will have more class time later to work on the books, and remind them to continue working at home as needed.

Day 11:

Ask students to think about and comment on the following: Digestive systems play a role in determining an organisms place in a food web (herbivore vs. carnivore). How are animal digestive systems different? How does that impact what they can eat?

Station day: have models of different organisms with digestive systems visible. If you do not have models, print color pictures from the websites listed in this unit (helpful websites, digestive system). As students visit each station, ask them to take notes about each organism: what each organism consumes, draw or color specific organs of each animal. When finished with all stations, students write a comparison about three different organism, one herbivore, one carnivore, and one omnivore. The comparison should include information about each organisms diet, digestive system and size. The digestive system is the why component of the initial question.

Day 12:

Use the human digestive system powerpoint and digestive system facts document to provide students with notes about the function of the organs in the human digestive system. Provide printed copies of the human digestive system diagram found at http://www.edupics.com/en-coloring-pictures-pages-photo-digestive-system-i9492.html (also in the helpful websites portion of this unit). Ask students to use colored pencils to label and color each organ represented in the diagram. Work on pop-up books.

Day 13:

Provide each student with 10 blank note cards and several copies of the digestive system diagram from day 12. On the front of each note card, students will write the name of one of the ten digestive organs emphasized in this unit. On the back, students will write the function of the organ and glue a picture of the organ cut out from the diagram. Ask student to color each organ the same color as on day 12. The repetition and colors will help with recall of the information for the quiz. When note cards are finished, students quiz each other in pairs for 15 minutes. End the day with a brief oral quiz. Ask for a student to loan you his/her note cards. All other students put their note cards away. Hold up a card showing the diagram of the organ. Ask students to raise their hands when they know the name of the organ. After completing this with all organs, turn the cards around and quiz for function. Require each student to provide at least one answer during the quiz.

Day 14:

Digestive system simulation, see document.

Tie all of the unit's information together. Again, refer to the KWL chart. Ask students for the last time, "Why and how do we eat what we eat?" Discuss this as a class and remind students this is the title for their pop-up books. The books need to make sense of all of the information presented this unit and connections between biomes, food webs, culture, and digestion.

Allow time to work on pop-up books.

Day 15 - 17:

Work on pop-up books. Peer review books informally as needed.

Day 18:

Present pop-up books.

Day 19:

Reflection, see document.

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