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www.lessontutor.com: the Digestive System- printable picture worksheet

  /  www.lessontutor.com: the Digestive System- printable picture worksheet

Printable Blank Outline Diagram of The Digestive System
Print ready worksheet picture of the organs and accessory structures of the digestive system

Q) Using the numbers from the diagram above, list, in order, the structures each mouthful of food or drink passes through on its way through the digestive process. ( 7 )
A) Click here

Test yourself: fill in the blanks:

Description and Function
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8 . .
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Description and Function
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1 teeth The strongest stuff in the body! Their purpose is to rip, grind, mash and generally pulverize all that food we put into our mouths. Why? So that it fits down our throats.
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2 epiglottis This trap door belongs to both the respiratory system and the digestive systems. Swallowing triggers its closing over the trachea to prevent food and fluids from draining into our lungs.
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3 liver One of the ‘accessory‘ organs of digestion. Food doesn’t actually pass through this organ. Instead, this organ secretes bile that is passed along to the gall bladder for concentration and storage.
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4 gall bladder Another accessory organ. Food doesn’t touch this one, either. It is a pear-shaped sac about 4 inches long and is the reservoir, or storage tank, for bile. Concentrated bile is released into the duodenum as needed to break down fats into an absorbable form.
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5 common bile duct As close to a transport highway as we’ve visited so far. This duct collects donations from the liver and the gall bladder (bile) as it passes along to the duodenum of the small bowel. To see an xray view – click on the picture on this page.
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6 large bowel Is it poop yet? (We’ll call it ‘feces’ [sounds like ‘fee-cees’] or ‘stool’ from now on rather than ‘poop’ or other ‘s’ words) Getting close. There are many sections to the large bowel – the appendix, caecum, ascending (rising) colon, transverse (across) colon, descending (going down) colon, sigmoid colon, the rectum and the anus. The main purposes of the large intestine is to pass remaining essential nutrients into the bloodstream and the storage and elimination of waste left-overs. As the nutritional fluids are absorbed and transfered out to the bloodstream, the contents get more solid and compact.
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7 appendix Little is understood about this little worm-like accessory structure that extends from the first section of the large bowel. Sometimes a piece of food gets stuck in here (like bubblegum) causing an infection.
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8 salivary gland 3 main salivary glands deliver their juices, saliva, into the mouth. Have you ever noticed yourself drooling when someone’s baking your favourite cookies? This fluid enzyme helps to soften up the food, the first chemical action along the digestive trail.
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9 tongue One very strong muscle made for rolling food around your mouth so your teeth can work best. It also houses taste buds; sensors of sweet, sour, salty and bitter tastes. If it doesn’t taste good, are you going to swallow it? Probably not. The tongue can also act as a drawbridge – blocking the passage of food from entering further down the digestive tract and pushing it back out the mouth. (The tongue is also important for pronunciation, but how often do you eat your words?)
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10 esophagus. (a.k.a. oesophagus) A muscular canal running from the pharynx to the stomach. The tongue pushes a ‘bolus’ of food into the esophagus to start it on its way to the stomach. Peristalsis is the name used to describe the rhythmic contract and release actions of this muscle and most all others along the digestive tract.
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11 stomach Most food that we eat becomes unrecognizable here in the stomach. Gastric acids  are triggered by the presence of food that ‘melt’ the food into a thick soup.
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12 duodenum The duodenum is the first section of the twenty two foot long small intestine. It starts at the pyloric sphincter of the stomach and runs about 10 inches. The duodenum is
largely responsible for the continuing food breaking-down process (fats are bombarded with bile), with the jejunum and ileum mainly responsible for the transfer of nutrients into the bloodstream.
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13 pancreas The body’s sugar control board. If your blood sugar gets too high, insulin is released to counteract it. If your sugars are low, glucagon is released into the blood stream. Both insulin and glucagon are produced by the pancreas.
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14 small intestine The small bowel has 3 main sections: the duodenum, jejunum and ileum. The duodenum is responsible for continuing to break down of food into liquid form and the jejunum and ileum mainly responsible for absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream.The mostly digested contents continue to be transformed into feces as it is moved along by peristalsis – a rhythmic contraction and relaxation of the muscles of the intestines. Let the whole class do ‘The Wave’ to cheer on the digestive process.
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15 rectum The last portion of the large intestine used for storage of stool ready for disposal. When the rectum becomes full, it triggers nerves that carry that message to the brain. The reply says ‘Time to look for a W.C.’


Q) From above: Using the numbers from the diagram above, list, in order, the structures each mouthful of food or drink passes through on its way through the digestive process. ( 7 )
A) 1, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15.
Project: Make a Purse-string Sphincter or Valve

In the digestive system, there are a number of places along the way that are designed to help regulate when, what direction, and how fast, food travels. These are called   sphincters or valves. For example- the cardiac sphincter separating the esophagus from the stomach; the pyloric sphincter between the stomach and the duodenum; the ileo-caecal valve between the small and large intestines; and your anus.


  1. square of material or a clean sock
  2. needle
  3. contrasting colour thread or wool.

Baste large stitches around a rough circle of the material. Leave a long tail of thread at each end. Gently pull both ends to bunch up the fabric and make the circle smaller. Alternatively, you could do the same with the open end of a sock. Either way, you are creating a pouch, or a dead-end most similar to that of the appendix. If the sock had the same closure at the toe end, then it could better represent a stomach or a very short bowel.

Discussion Questions

  • If a sphincter or valve did not close completely, what would you expect the contents to do? (Hint: think of a straw)
  • If a sphincter or valve does not open, what would you expect the contents to do? (Hint: think of a balloon)
  • What is a burp and why does the body do that?
  • Why does ‘passing wind’ (flatulence) sometimes make incredible sound effects? (Hint: think of a balloon)

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