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Mouth, Esophagus, Stomach

Time Required: Two 45-minute class periods or one 90-minute class period
Concept Covered: The mouth, esophagus and stomach are the first portion of the
digestive system. These structures follow the four-process approach.
Grade Level: 11-12
Standards Covered:

Learning Objectives:


Document camera
TED Talk guide sheets for each student
Special Cells of Digestion organizer for each student


Prepare any images before class

o Human and Gorilla brains and skulls

o Read over some of the answers given on the exit ticket from the class
1. Follow the notes outline

The Mouth
a. Motility
Ask students where they find motility in the mouth
i. Chewing

1. Mechanically break down food

2. Increase surface area
b. Secretion
Ask students where they find secretion in the mouth
i. Saliva, mucus, salts
1. From the endocrine gland salivary gland


c. Digestion
Ask students where they find digestion in the mouth
i. Starch maltose
ii. Enzyme of importance: salivary amylase.
d. Absorption
i. Very little absorption
ii. Some medications can be absorbed in the mouth through the
mucus membrane
The Esophagus
a. Motility
Tell students that the muscle movements are so powerful that you can
swallow while upside down.
Allow students to try this if they want.
i. Peristalsis
1. Wave-like muscle movement
a. Primary wave to push food down into the stomach
i. Lasts about 6-10 seconds
b. Secondary wave gets food like peanut butter
i. You rarely feel this
2. Esophagus is both smooth and skeletal muscle.
b. Secretion
Ask students to explain what they have experienced when they swallowed
a part of a tortilla chip go down. Most students will say it hurts.
i. Lined with mucus secretions
1. Lubrication
2. Protection
a. This is why you dont puncture your esophagus
when swallowing tortilla chips
c. Digestion
i. None
d. Absorption
i. None
Tell students that there is no absorption in the esophagus. Ask students
what the limiting factor is (TIME)


The Stomach

Ask students to what they think the functions of the stomach might be.
a. Motility
i. The Tunics of the Stomach (working from the lumen outward)
1. Mucosa
a. Protective mucus
b. Clinical Application: Heliobacter pylori
2. Submucosa
a. Vascular layer
3. Muscular Layer
a. 3 layers of smooth muscle
4. Serosa
ii. Churning
b. Secretion
i. The Gastric Pit of the stomach
1. Chief Cell
a. Secretes pepsinogen
i. Inactive form of pepsin
1. Proteolytic enzyme
2. Activated by low H+
2. Parietal Cell
a. Releases H+
b. In response to gastrin, histamine and nervous
c. Acidify stomach
3. G-cell
a. Release gastrin into blood stream
i. Protein hormone
4. ECL cell
a. Release histamine
c. Digestion
i. Pepsin breaks down proteins into smaller polypeptides
ii. Some carbohydrate digestion
d. Absorption
i. None
2. Show TED Talk: The Brain in Your Gut
a. Students will fill out the TED Talk viewing guide during the video.
b. Ask students to pay specific attention to how the nervous system
interacts with the digestive system.
c. Tell students that this TED Talk will connect what we have done to the
next section of notes.

o Have students share their thoughts on the TED Talk. If time, show images
of the difference between gorilla and human brains and skulls.


Provide notes to students who need them

Allow students to ask extension questions

Anticipated misconceptions:

Gastrin and histamine are secreted into the lumen of the stomach

Questioning during lecture
Upcoming Quiz