Complete Digestive System Lessons for Elementary School

Want digestive system lessons your students will eat up? (Just a little digestive system humor for you.) I’ve been teaching this unit for a few years now, and I’ve worked on crafting a comprehensive unit that really scaffolds students through the content.

Naturally, I want to share that with you! Here is your complete digestive system lesson:


Starting with a mini-lesson is my not-so-secret sauce to a great lesson. This is your opportunity to give the entire class the big pieces of content they need. I know that within this lesson, my students will not master the content. But, they will have the foundation to begin building their knowledge.

Looking for a comprehensive digestive system unit that will scaffold your students through the content? Look no further! This unit has everything you need to teach about the digestive system. From lessons plans to student activities, this unit is sure to engage your students.
A Comprehensive Digestive System Unit

For my digestive system lesson, I like to use a comprehension passage to introduce students to the content. Not only does this give us a chance to work on comprehension skills, but we can underline key information and circle key content vocabulary. 

I use this digestive system passage. It also has a corresponding quiz, which you can have students complete independently or complete together to review the material.

A Comprehensive Digestive System Unit
A Comprehensive Digestive System Unit

Group Work

After working through the digestive system lessons, I like to scaffold to working in groups. This gives students the ability to practice the information, but they don’t have to go at it completely alone. During this time, I walk around the room and stop at different groups. I’ll assist them as needed, but I really try to be hands off when possible.

For group work, I like to have my students complete a digestive system trifold. This is a great way to review the content, and it serves as a reference material later for review, homework, and independent practice. I encourage students to use the comprehension passage from the mini-lesson to fill in this trifold.

This digestive system trifold has several different activities for students to complete, and it requires zero prep. I print a double sided page for each student, and then they fold it once complete.

A Comprehensive Digestive System Unit
A Comprehensive Digestive System Unit


After doing group work, I like to incorporate stations. This can be done the same day, but I like to make this part of my digestive system lessons actually occur the next day. Allows the knowledge to really marinate!

I make centers super easy for myself with choice boards. This digestive system choice board has nine different activities, including flow maps, anchor charts, quizzes, and more. It’s easy because it is also low prep. Each activity is on a sheet of paper, so I don’t need to gather materials or cut out pieces.

While my students are working in centers, I will meet with students individually. Sometimes I am reviewing information related to the current science unit, and sometimes I am simply working through some of the centers with them. This allows me to differentiate my instruction.
Of course, one of the most important pieces to remember is that reviewing and spiraling is key. I have several other ready-to-go resources on the digestive system. You can use these for homework, morning work, stations, and teacher groups.

Need more ideas for the digestive system? Check out the ideas here! Check out the 5E’s of Science here!