Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Learning about Digestive system using POTATOES!!

The Grade 5 students were surprised to see their teacher bring into class chopped and grated potatoes - "Are we going to cook, Ms. Archana?" They all asked. It was in deed for a learning engagement that the potatoes, along with straws, strainers and jars were brought to the class

This task for divided into 5 tasks and each task was similar to a function of the digestive system.

Task 1: Students mixed the chopped potatoes with water and shook the jars strenuously. Nothing much happened, except for the water turning a little white. Next they mixed the grated potatoes with water and shook the jars again. This time, a lot of froth was formed.

Why? Due to the starch in the potatoes. There was froth formed with the grated potatoes as the starch could be absorbed easily.

This is similar to the to breaking down of food in the mouth and the absorption of starch.

Task 2: The students passes some grated potato through a straw. They were asked to use their fingers to push stuff down. 

This is similar to the 'peristalsis' in the epiglottis.

Task 3: The students churned the grated potatoes and water together until it became paste like. 

This is similar to the churning in the stomach.

Task 4: The 'paste' was passed through a big strainer. A lot of water was removed.

This is similar to the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine. 

Task 5: The left over paste was passed through a small strainer until it was more or less solid.

This is similar to the absorption of water in the large intestine. The left over paste is like the solid waste that I body gives out.

This was followed by interactive lesson which consolidated their understanding.

For each task, students took turns to be a 'note-taker', a 'gaffer' and a 'experimentalist'.

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