You should have a diagram of these in your textbook and/or your notebook. This page will remind you what happens in each part of your intestines or “Alimentary Canal”.


  1. Food and drink goes in and sometimes out of this hole

Buccal Cavity = also called the oral cavity = also called the mouth.

You chew your food, this:

  1. mixes the food with your saliva.
  2. breaks it into smaller pieces,

You taste your food, this:

  1. helps you to decide if it is good to eat,
  2. stimulates you to make saliva.

Oesophagus = also called the gullet.

  1. food and drink go down this tube to the stomach


  1. protein is digested by an enzyme called “pepsin”,
  2. pepsin only works in acid conditions,
  3. when it is all turned into a liquid it is pushed into the duodenum.

Duodenum = this is the first part of the small intestine.

  1. bile from the liver neutralises the stomach acid,
  2. enzymes from the pancreas digest:
  • protein,
  • carbohydrate, and
  • fats.

Jejunum = this is the second part of the small intestine = forget it.

Ileum = this is the main part of the small intestine.

  1. the wall of the ileum adds more enzymes,
  2. digestion of food continues,
  3. the products of digestion are absorbed.

Colon = this is the large intestine.

  1. water is absorbed into the blood,
  2. fibre is all that is left.

Caecum: don’t worry about this one.

Appendix: nothing happens here.


  1. The undigested food (faeces) is stored here until you just have to go to the loo.


  1. This is a ring of muscle which is normally contracted.
  2. It is relaxed to let the faeces out.

I hope that you have read through this page and that it all makes sense; so what should you do now ?

You will need  7 index cards. Number the cards 1 to 7. and write the following names on them:

  1. Buccal Cavity (mouth)
  2. Oesophagus (gullet)
  3. Stomach
  4. Duodenum (small intestine)
  5. Ileum (small intestine)
  6. Colon (large intestine)
  7. Rectum

Now write the same numbers on the back of each card and write down what each part does.

Finally, add the cards to your revision pack.

Remember, you can shuffle your revision pack. Look at either side of any card and see if you can remember what should be on the other side. This is test yourself. By the time your exams arrive your cards should be worn out. In fact when any card wears out, you can throw it away because you will have learnt what is on it.

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