ALEX Lesson Plan


Creating Voki to Describe the Digestive System

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Antwuan Stinson
System: College/University
School: Alabama State University
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33130


Creating Voki to Describe the Digestive System


Students will create a digital presentation using a Voki on the digestive system, organs, and accessory structures. This is a part of the unit on digestion and metabolism, and is performed at the beginning of the unit with additional content afterwards, especially on metabolism, nutrition, and digestive disorders. It involves the use of technology to research, create, and display a presentation. It may be completed individually or in small groups.

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
SC (9-12) Biology
5. Identify cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, organisms, populations, communities, and ecosystems as levels of organization in the biosphere.
  • Recognizing that cells differentiate to perform specific functions
  • Examples: ciliated cells to produce movement, nerve cells to conduct electrical charges
    ELA2015 (9)
    10. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. [RI.9-10.1]
    LIT2010 (9-10) Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
    2. Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes.
    a. Introduce a topic and organize ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.
    b. Develop the topic with well-chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience's knowledge of the topic.
    c. Use varied transitions and sentence structures to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among ideas and concepts.
    d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic and convey a style appropriate to the discipline and context as well as to the expertise of likely readers.
    e. Establish and maintain a formal style and objective tone while attending to the norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.
    f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the topic).
    LIT2010 (9-10) Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects
    6. Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology's capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.
    SC2015 (9-12) Human Anatomy and Physiology
    8. Communicate scientific information to explain the relationship between the structures and functions, both mechanical (e.g., chewing, churning in stomach) and chemical (e.g., enzymes, hydrochloric acid [HCl] in stomach), of the digestive system, including the accessory organs (e.g., salivary glands, pancreas).
    a. Obtain and communicate information to demonstrate an understanding of the disorders of the digestive system (e.g., ulcers, Crohn's disease, diverticulitis).

    Local/National Standards:


    Primary Learning Objective(s):

    Students will create a talking avatar to discuss the path food takes through the digestive system. Then students will share the Voki during class with their peers.

    Additional Learning Objective(s):

     Preparation Information 

    Total Duration:

    91 to 120 Minutes

    Materials and Resources:

    Laptops or computers with Internet access

    Technology Resources Needed:

    Interactive whiteboard

    Computer with Internet access


    Teachers should visit the Arnold website ( before introducing it to students. The activity gives a beginning level for describing the position of organs.

    The website ( gives a complex series of organs and glands that process food. Both activities will build the foundation for understanding the digestive system.


    What is an avatar?  An avatar is a personalized graphic file or rendering that represents a computer user.

    Go to

    Step 1.  Create and/or log in to Gmail.

    Step 2.  Click Register to create a Voki account.

    Step 3.  Fill in the account information, check “I agree” and click “Finish.”

    Step 4.  Check your email where you will receive an email verification. Activate your account by clicking the link in your email. 

    Step 5.  Login to Voki.  Click “Create a New Voki.”

    Step 6.  Customize your Voki: Select “Head” to choose a basic head shape. There are many styles, such as anime, cartoon, political, animals, holiday, etc. Click the arrows to view the styles and scroll through the head shots below to choose a face.  Choose the version without graduation hats to the right of the pictures. Choose Classic.

    Step 7.  Select the icon to customize hair shape, if needed. (There is a small selection of hair styles).

    Step 8.  Use the color chart below the image to adjust the colors of mouth, makeup, eyes, skin, and hair. The Lip icon will allow you change the shape or style of your avatar’s mouth.  There are also mustache and beard options for male avatars. This option is grayed out if you are using female avatars. 

    Step 9.  The “Clothing” tab will allow you to select clothes for your avatar as well. You may choose from sports, casual, dressy, and other styles. The “Bling” tab has a selection of sunshades, jewelry, etc. Use the tabs to customize your avatar for just the right look. Click the green “DONE” button when your avatar is ready. 

    Step 10.  Select the “Tree” icon to view the background menu to select a background for the avatar. You may also import an image to personalize your background. You may scroll through the images to make a selection or you may click the folder to the right of the “Tree” icon to browse to an image on your computer, such as a photo of your school, a photo of the White House, etc. Click “Done” when you have selected a background. 

    Step 11.  Click the magnifying glass icon at the right bottom corner of the avatar box to open a small box with icons to change the size and/or position of your avatar in regard to your background. 

    Step 12.  Give your avatar a voice. You may do this by using a telephone, using text to speech, using a microphone, or by uploading a previously recorded sound file on your computer. Select which method you wish to use by clicking the appropriate button.  This handout will address how to make a recording using a microphone.

    Step 13.  Have your microphone plugged into your computer. 

    Select the “Microphone” option. When you choose this option, a small window will open asking you for permission to allow the program to access your camera and microphone. Click “Allow” and close the screen by clicking “Close.” Prepare a short message, no longer than 60 seconds to record. 

    Click “Record” and begin speaking. Click “Stop” to end the recording. Test your recording by clicking play. You may record it again if you do not like it. 

    Step 14.  Or, you may call in to record a message by clicking the telephone.

    Click “Save” to save your recording. 

    Click “Publish” to email or create the .html code to embed on your EdLine page or website. 

    The publishing window will open. Use the drop-down menu by “Embed” to choose.

    Step 15.  You may be required to give it a voice prior to saving.

    Step 16.  Students will create an activity describing the path of digestion through the body from this website (

    **Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.

    Assessment Strategies

    A rubric can be used as a form of assessment to grade the Voki project.


    Students who finish early may assist others or make a word wall with the vocabulary words below:

    Abdomen - the part of the body that contains the digestive organs. In human beings, this is between the diaphragm and the pelvis.
    Alimentary canal - the passage through which food passes, including the mouth, esophagus, stomach, intestines, and anus.
    Anus - the opening at the end of the digestive system from which feces (waste) exits the body.
    Appendix - a small sac located on the cecum.
    Ascending colon - the part of the large intestine that run upwards; it is located after the cecum.
    Bile - a digestive chemical that is produced in the liver, stored in the gall bladder, and secreted into the small intestine.
    Cecum - the first part of the large intestine; the appendix is connected to the cecum.
    Chyme - food in the stomach that is partly digested and mixed with stomach acids. Chyme goes on to the small intestine for further digestion.
    Descending colon - the part of the large intestine that run downwards after the transverse colon and before the sigmoid colon.
    Digestive system - (also called the gastrointestinal tract or GI tract) the system of the body that processes food and gets rid of waste.
    Duodenum - the first part of the small intestine; it is C-shaped and runs from the stomach to the jejunum.
    Epiglottis - the flap at the back of the tongue that keeps chewed food from going down the windpipe to the lungs. When you swallow, the epiglottis automatically closes. When you breathe, the epiglottis opens so that air can go in and out of the windpipe.
    Esophagus - the long tube between the mouth and the stomach. It uses rhythmic muscle movements (called peristalsis) to force food from the throat into the stomach.
    Gall bladder - a small, sac-like organ located by the duodenum. It stores and releases bile (a digestive chemical which is produced in the liver) into the small intestine.
    Gastrointestinal tract - (also called the GI tract or digestive system) the system of the body that processes food and gets rid of waste.
    Ileum - the last part of the small intestine before the large intestine begins.
    Intestines - the part of the alimentary canal located between the stomach and the anus.
    Jejunum - the long, coiled mid-section of the small intestine; it is between the duodenum and the ileum.
    Liver - a large organ located above and in front of the stomach. It filters toxins from the blood, and makes bile (which breaks down fats) and some blood proteins.
    Mouth - the first part of the digestive system, where food enters the body. Chewing and salivary enzymes in the mouth are the beginning of the digestive process (breaking down the food).
    Pancreas - an enzyme-producing gland located below the stomach and above the intestines. Enzymes from the pancreas help in the digestion of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in the small intestine.
    Peristalsis - rhythmic muscle movements that force food in the esophagus from the throat into the stomach. Peristalsis is involuntary - you cannot control it. It is also what allows you to eat and drink while upside-down.
    Rectum - the lower part of the large intestine, where feces are stored before they are excreted.
    Salivary glands - glands located in the mouth that produce saliva. Saliva contains enzymes that break down carbohydrates (starch) into smaller molecules.
    Sigmoid colon - the part of the large intestine between the descending colon and the rectum.
    Stomach - a sack-like, muscular organ that is attached to the esophagus. Both chemical and mechanical digestion takes place in the stomach. When food enters the stomach, it is churned in a bath of acids and enzymes.
    Transverse colon - the part of the large intestine that runs horizontally across the abdomen.


    Students who do not complete the assignment during the allotted time should be given extra time or allowed to complete the work at home.

    Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

    Presentation of Material Environment
    Time Demands Materials
    Attention Using Groups and Peers
    Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
    Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.