Science is best explained to elementary school students with the help of visual aids. Because the average grade school student will most likely never see a real stomach, a model can help a child visualise the shape and composition of this organ. Learning potential is increased when a hands-on lesson allows a student to make a stomach model on his own. Help your students visualise the human stomach by having them complete a stomach model.
Mix 1 cup of flour with 1/4 cup of salt. Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water. Stir and then knead the dough thoroughly with your hands until you have a smooth clay that can be moulded.
Project a picture of a stomach on a screen or provide students with a picture of a stomach. The stomach is a pouch shaped like a cross between a pear and the letter "J." It starts with a narrow oesophagus and ends with the pyloric sphincter. Shape the clay in your hands to form the outside of the stomach. Looking at the picture, mould it until it looks similar to the picture. It should be about two inches thick and, at its widest point, three to four inches wide. The ends should resemble a round, plastic tube that is about one to one and one-half inches around.
Cut the wet clay stomach in half by starting with the oesophagus and ending with the pyloric sphincter. Turn one side over so the flat edge is up. Hollow out the section with a plastic spoon, leaving a half-inch layer for muscle around the edge. The muscle in the pyloric sphincter should be thicker, resembling a reverse hourglass and forming a narrow opening in the middle.
Form rugae, or wrinkles, to lay on the inside of your model with some of the left over clay. To make the rugae, roll thin pieces of clay into earthworm-like forms. Line the entire inside with the wrinkles. The wrinkles should run from side to side and end to end. They should be connected to one another with empty spaces between the wrinkles. Refer to the picture of the stomach if they have trouble understanding how to place the rugae.
Shape a gastric gland and pit in a section of the wall. Shape the clay to form a thick "V" with the point facing the inside of the stomach. When the clay has been baked, paint a thin "V" on the section near the wall with a line leading away from the "V."
Place the stomach model on a baking tray. Bake the clay at 176 degrees Cor ten to fifteen minutes. Let it cool. Paint the model. Use a different colour for each section so it is easy to see the different parts.
If the clay falls apart, add more water.
Tips and warnings
- If the clay falls apart, add more water.