Classroom Experience: Digestive Tour

Year 8 Bio is a challenge. Plenty of unknowns, new terminology, and tricky concepts which are sometimes a little hard to grasp and (sorry) digest stuffed into 4 short terms. Like with most subjects, on paper it all looks fine but the actual classroom experience often derails even the best of lesson plans.


Learning about the digestive tract and the individual organ's function is one of the many things covered in year 8 but how can we teachers make the learning accessible to students? Hint: it’s not the plastic 3D model you and I may remember from our own secondary school days.

So how do we do it? We don&r;t. It’s the kids who tell us instead. The digestive tract becomes a real-life journey for classmates and teachers alike. The door frame becomes the mouth, with teeth, tongue and all; the adjoining staircase is transformed into the oesophagus, the landing turns into the stomach, you get the picture. 

And speaking of pictures, a single one can tell more than we could ever fit into a paragraph here so without wanting to give away too much, here are a few shots to give you a better idea of what they’re up to:


Moving along the oesophagus...


On to the next leg of their journey: The duodenum.



The pancreas aids the body digest food by adding enzymes...



After the duodenum, it’s on to the small intestine!

The all-important debrief of the digestive tour comes at the end. How fitting.


So there you have it, the digestive tract as an interactive tour. Students teaching their peers and even us teachers learn a thing or two along the way as well. The creativity seems boundless and even though it’s been part of the biology curriculum, there are always new ideas, every year. A big thank you to the sporting kids of 8 Dhahabu who let us take a glimpse into their daily lives in class!