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Explain the Function of the Organs of the Digestive System

In this worksheet, students will explain the function of the organs that form the digestive system.

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Did you know that your small intestines are about 7 meters long?! And your large intestines is about 1.5meters long! The intestines form part of our digestive system. The digestive system is an example of an organ system.  You can see some of the different systems in the picture below:

Image of different body systems

Cells are the basic building blocks of all living organisms. They come in different sizes and shapes. Some organisms are made of just one cell and are called unicellular, other organisms are multicellular – they are made up of many types of cells. Cells work together to carry out different life processes like digestion which is needed for an organism to stay alive.

Each specific cell is grouped with other cells similar in structure and function to form tissues. Groups of tissues work together to form organs that have specific functions. Organs are organised into organ systems, which work together to form organisms

Image of plant cell to organism

In the above image, the first image shows a leaf cell. The leaf cells group together to form a tissue, the tissues work together to form an organ, the leaf. The leaf and other organ systems work together to form the plant (an organism).

Organisation of the body allows complex organisms to carry out many different jobs at the same time.

The delicious burger and chips you ate for lunch have to be broken down in order for your body to use it. This breaking down of food is called digestion. The different organs that help with digestion are called the digestive system.  

Image of the digestive system

While chewing our food into smaller pieces, our food mixes in with our saliva. You wouldn’t think it but our saliva is pretty special! Special because it makes your food moist and easy to swallow but also has something called enzymes that help to break our food up.   

Your burger and chips are now mashed up and swallowed. This moves down through the oesophagus (the pipe connecting your mouth to your stomach). The oesophagus has muscles that contract in a wave-like motion which helps to push the food along and into your stomach.

In the stomach the food is churned up, breaking it up even more. Here it mixes with strong acid of pH1-2. The acid is so strong that it's able to destroy microbes that may be present on the burger and chips you ate.

From the stomach, food enters the small intestine and the small digested food molecules are absorbed into the bloodstream. Sugars like glucose, vitamins and minerals are soluble in water so can pass through the wall of the small intestine. Larger insoluble molecules like starch, proteins and fats need to be broken up into smaller molecules by enzymes before they can be absorbed. Certain foods like fibre we can’t digest. 

The liver also helps with digestion. The liver makes a substance called bile which is released into the small intestine. The bile helps to cancel out (neutralise) stomach acid before entering the small intestine. Bile also helps to break up fat into smaller droplets allowing fat to be digested quicker.

After the small intestine, the remains of the food travels to the large intestine. All that is left of the burger and chips is water and waste material.

The water is valuable, so it’s absorbed from the large intestine into the bloodstream. The kidneys also help to make sure we have the right amount of water in our body.

The waste material can’t be digested or used by the body. The undigested waste travels to the rectum where it is stored until leaving the body through the anus as faeces. Lovely!

In the following activity, you will explain the function of the different organs that make up the digestive system.

 

 

Image of plant cell to organism

Cells are the basic building blocks of all living organisms. Link the different groups to their definitions.

Column A

Column B

Cell
Groups of tissues working together with specific f...
Tissue
Building blocks of all living organisms
Organ
Cells grouped with other cells similar in structur...
Organ System
Groups of organs which work together to form organ...

The oesophagus has an important role to play in digestion. Explain how the oesophagus functions. Select one answer below. 

Image of the digestive system

To break food into smaller pieces

Muscles contract allowing food to be moved to the stomach

To allow nutrients to be absorbed

In the small intestine, certain food substances need to be broken down by enzymes. Why?

 Fill in the blanks below to answer this question.

 

To break food into smaller pieces

Muscles contract allowing food to be moved to the stomach

To allow nutrients to be absorbed

Image of the stomach digesting food

What is the job of the acid found in the stomach? Complete the sentence by typing one word below. 

The job of the acid found in the stomach is to destroy...

Image of the digestive system

The image above show the organs that belong to the digestive system. Explain the function of F in the picture above. Select one answer below.

F is the anus where faeces is expelled.

F is the rectum where waste is stored

F is the small intestine where food molecules get absorbed

Image of the digestive system

Small digested molecules get absorbed into the bloodstream where it will be used by different parts of the body. What happens to the undigested food? Fill in the blanks below to answer this question.

F is the anus where faeces is expelled.

F is the rectum where waste is stored

F is the small intestine where food molecules get absorbed

 Are the following statements true or false? Select one answer in each row.

The liver produces an important substance called bile. Explain the job of bile in the digestive system. Select two answers below.

 

Bile is acidic and destroys microbes

Bile neutralises stomach acid

Bile breaks up glucose

Bile breaks up fat into droplets

In digestion, which organ breaks up fat into smaller droplets? Select one answer below.

Large intestine

Stomach

Liver

Small intestine

Image of the digestive system

Explain the function of A in the picture above. Select one answer below.

The oesophagus connects the mouth to the stomach

The mouth chews up the food into smaller pieces and mixes it with saliva, making it easier to swallow.

The liver produces bile neutralising stomach acid

  • Question 1

Image of plant cell to organism

Cells are the basic building blocks of all living organisms. Link the different groups to their definitions.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Cell
Building blocks of all living org...
Tissue
Cells grouped with other cells si...
Organ
Groups of tissues working togethe...
Organ System
Groups of organs which work toget...
EDDIE SAYS
Try to remember the below: Cell → Tissue → Organ → Organ System Cells make up the tissues, tissues make up the organ, organs work together to make an organ system.
  • Question 2

The oesophagus has an important role to play in digestion. Explain how the oesophagus functions. Select one answer below. 

Image of the digestive system

CORRECT ANSWER
Muscles contract allowing food to be moved to the stomach
EDDIE SAYS
The muscles in the oesophagus contract in a wave-like motion to help food move along to the stomach, where the next stage of digestion occurs.
  • Question 3

In the small intestine, certain food substances need to be broken down by enzymes. Why?

 Fill in the blanks below to answer this question.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Large molecules can't be used by the body which is why enzymes are so important. The enzymes will break the large molecules into smaller soluble molecules.
  • Question 4

Image of the stomach digesting food

What is the job of the acid found in the stomach? Complete the sentence by typing one word below. 

The job of the acid found in the stomach is to destroy...

CORRECT ANSWER
Microbes
Pathogens
Bacteria
Microorganisms
EDDIE SAYS
The acid in the stomach is very strong. It has a pH between pH 1-2. Luckily we have a protective layer inside of our stomachs to stop the acid from wearing our own stomach away!
  • Question 5

Image of the digestive system

The image above show the organs that belong to the digestive system. Explain the function of F in the picture above. Select one answer below.

CORRECT ANSWER
F is the rectum where waste is stored
EDDIE SAYS
F is pointing to the rectum where waste is stored and G is the anus, where faeces are removed from.
  • Question 6

Image of the digestive system

Small digested molecules get absorbed into the bloodstream where it will be used by different parts of the body. What happens to the undigested food? Fill in the blanks below to answer this question.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Undigested food has no nutritional value as all the nutrients and useful molecules have been removed. Water is also reabsorbed in the large intestine too.
  • Question 7

 Are the following statements true or false? Select one answer in each row.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The oesophagus leads food to the stomach which has acid in it to destroy microbes that might be present on the food that's been eaten. The small intestine is actually really long but is coiled up so it fits into our body. The food molecules are small enough to pass through the folds of the small intestine.
  • Question 8

The liver produces an important substance called bile. Explain the job of bile in the digestive system. Select two answers below.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Bile neutralises stomach acid
Bile breaks up fat into droplets
EDDIE SAYS
Bile aids digestion, it doesn\'t contain enzymes though. It breaks up fats into smaller droplets which help enzymes to break it up quicker. Bile also neutralises acidic food that has come from the stomach.
  • Question 9

In digestion, which organ breaks up fat into smaller droplets? Select one answer below.

CORRECT ANSWER
Liver
EDDIE SAYS
The liver speeds up the digestion of fats, breaking it up into smaller droplets. This gives a larger area for enzymes to work on.
  • Question 10

Image of the digestive system

Explain the function of A in the picture above. Select one answer below.

CORRECT ANSWER
The mouth chews up the food into smaller pieces and mixes it with saliva, making it easier to swallow.
EDDIE SAYS
Don\'t forget that saliva contains enzymes as well. The enzymes in the saliva mix with the food to start the digestion process off.
---- OR ----

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