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Summary and Reflection of the whole lesson

ELED 3221 (Science)

This science class was right after lunch, so it was perfect timing for the students to learn
about digestive system. Since students have been learning body system over the past week and
have prior knowledge of skeletal and muscular system, I asked the questions Weve been
talking about body systems this week, just like how we talked about the functions of skeletal and
muscular system, we will be learning about digestive system. How do you think the function of
digestive system is? to tie into their background knowledge about digestive system. Then I
continued to ask about what they think happens to the food when food is consumed, and the
students started to laugh and talk about poop, which is important for them to know that waste is
being removed from our body. Students were then put into small groups to figure out where they
think the process of a digestive system would be with pictures of teeth, salivary glands,
esophagus, stomach, and intestines; kind of like a puzzle. Then I asked questions to guide them
and to explain why they put it the way they did by going around from groups to groups.
As a whole group, we briefly presented how each group came up and discussed the order
the organs are in. The class also estimated what each organ may do to digest the food we
consume and I asked few questions to guide them thinking such as How does a esophagus look
like? (a long tube) and lead to what a tube does (a tube usually works as transferring
something). Then we will read the science textbook to further understand the concept and focus
on the functions of each body parts in digestive system. All the students will participate in
getting the simulation ready by having roles (mouth and anus is the front and the back door of
the classroom) and I will pick 2 students to be teeth, 2 students as salivary glands, and 3 students
as food. We will also have 2 students as esophagus, 4 students as stomach, and the rest of the
class to be the intestines. Students will be asked to explore on their own to stand in the order they
think the process is supposed to be. Students are talking to one another to stand in a line from
mouth to anus. This process was meant to be quick since we already discussed about the orders.
To block any fights, I gave the class 2 minutes to discuss the order and 1 minute to be in the
order. Here, I could see how some students are a good leader. After everyone is settled, I asked
the question, Why did you put _stomach_ before _intestines_? and got them thinking more

about why that is so. Then I brought curiosity by asking Do you think the food will stay in the
stomach forever? Where do you think itll go?
With this question in mind, we will go over the body parts in order from mouth to anus,
then start the simulation. I first guided the students to play each role by explaining what they are
to do. As the food break down during the progress, teeth in the mouth is chewing by moving their
arms open and close; salivary glands are sprinkling water; esophagus works as a tunnel by
making a road; stomach holds hands to each other to make a circle; intestines are in two lines and
their fingers work as villi to suck up all the nutrients form the food. Students practice their roles
for few minutes and our first round of food goes through. We stop every stage/body parts to
make sure students know what is happening at the stage. I ask the whole class to tell me what is
happening by asking questions like What is happening in the mouth where the teeth is?- break
down food. I also ask the students to tell me what is happening by asking What is happening in
the stomach? etc. After practicing how the food is digested, we EAT apple and go one more
round. Then I secretly tell the intestines to suck up only once for this next round. Then we EAT
Takis, a snack my students love to eat, and ask the students why the intestines were only sucking
up a little bit. I allow students to talk to one another to figure out why, then I asked the same
question again. One student yelled out, Because there is no nutrients in Takis! Then I clarified
this logic to the students by explaining how apple is healthy food but Takis is not since its
considered junk food. For the last time, we reviewed what the function of digestive system is and
what each body parts do to help. I ask questions like What is the main function for digestive
system?, How many times does the food get broken down? Where?, Where do we take the
nutrients from the digestive system?, etc.
Students are now in their seats to elaborate their knowledge on the graphic organizer.
There is a diagram to label body parts on the left of the worksheet and there is a section for
students to write what the function and description of the body parts are. Students used their
science textbooks to help, but before I let them work on this worksheet I went over what function
is and what description is. Function is like its job and description is like the location of the
body parts or how it looks like. I let them work in pairs if they wanted to and walked around to
see if anyone was struggling. I walked around to ask questions to clarify their understanding of
the digestive system and saw if it was necessary for me to show the video that summarizes the
digestive system or not, but we ran out of time by then so I didnt have a chance to. I assessed the

students progress by taking annotated notes when students were doing simulation and collected
graphic organizer to check their knowledge on digestive system. We went over the graphic
organizer as a class at the end and I asked the students to volunteer to tell me one thing they
learned today in science class as a closure.
This science lesson idea was taken from another 5th grade teacher at the school. I have
been attending their 5th grade teacher meetings and the teacher next door have suggested me to
come in one day to observe her way of teaching digestive system. I loved her idea and decided to
teach digestive system in my 5th grade class. Simulation of the whole digestive system was a
fabulous way to allow students to move around and understand the concept. Since the science
lesson had to be an indirect lesson, I came up with the idea of having students explore with the
organ pictures and allow them to experiment the order they think would go in. It worked out
really well, students worked together to solve the problem and asked questions to each other to
come up with the answer. Then we got to expend our thinking into the simulation (having
students act out the teeth, stomach, intestines, etc.) to fully comprehend the digestive system. We
made multiple trips throughout the digestive system: first to explain each stage and its function,
then we ate an apple to break down and get nutrients, and at last we ate Takis (a snack our class
LOVES). I had them compare the two food we consumed and tell me why the villi in the
intestines only sucked up few nutrients from Takis then apples. Surprisingly, one of the student
yelled out, Takis has no nutrients but apples do! which was the right answer. They were all so
shocked how Takis wasnt nutritious, that was cute. We then briefly went over how important it
is for our body to consume healthy food and enough water. Before I had the students sit down,
we reviewed the whole digestive system and its function so it is fresh in their mind to write down
on the graphic organizer. Students were very engaged and enjoyed moving around, and most
importantly they were able to fully understand the digestive system in our body.
There was one student in the class who was very quiet and always too shy to answer
questions, but during the digestive system simulation he was all excited to answer questions and
even shouted out the answer before anyone else did. He understood the concept itself very
quickly and just enjoyed learning. The teacher and I then found out that he was a kinesthetic
learner which was a great discovery not just for me and the teacher, but for himself. I realized

how important it is for the teachers to know the students through this experience. Knowing the
student and his/her background and family helps to understand their behavior, which my teacher
was great at. Now the teacher is going to try her best to involve hands-on activities in her lesson,
to help those who learn best when moving around. As a teacher I realized, once again, how
crucial it is for teachers to know the students learning style. It also helps to plan our lessons.