In Science this week, we continued our journey through the digestive system, leaving the stomach and entering, first, the small intestine, then the large intestine. We learnt that the walls of the small intestine absorb vitamins and minerals from the food into the bloodstream which then travel around the body to where they are needed. The large intestine then removes water and necessary salts before pushing the waste out of the body via the rectum.
To deepen our understanding of the process the children made ‘intestines’ out of tights and reenacted the muscular action (Peristalsis) of the intestines as they squeezed the ‘chyme’ (oats and water!) through. They saw and felt the nutrients and water being removed before creating the waste which they then squeezed out into bowls.
Fascinating facts we discovered!
- The small intestine when stretched out is 6.7 metres long, approximately the length of our classroom!
- Most of digestion takes place in the small intestine.
- It takes 6 to 8 hours for the small intestine to process the food.
- A female’s small intestine is longer than a male’s.