When we reached the chapter on digestion in our anatomy unit, I had all sorts of plans for what I was going to do for our science lessons, and then this fall hit and most of them didn’t happen. I was very happy our dental health lesson did happen because my kids are abysmal at brushing their teeth, so I made a point to show them this one.
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Supplies for this dental health lesson:
Learning Resources for this dental health lesson
Hi, Future Ticia 2023 here, as I’m updating this I wanted to add in some of the resources I used for this dental health lesson back when we did it, some that I used when teaching public school, and then a few videos that have come out since then.
First a quick, why do we brush our teeth and why is it important video.
Here are a few picture books. I’m trying to find the one I used when I taught public school, but that was 20 years ago and I think it’s out of print, but I loved the illustrations used.
- Take Care of Your Teeth– I love those series for letting younger kids read good nonfiction.
- The Tooth Book: a guide to healthy teeth and gums– this is illustrated and the reading level is geared for an adult to read it to kids, but good material.
- Do I have to go to the dentist?– Since I don’t like going to the dentist, this is probably more a book I need rather than my kids, who are actually fairly good about it
Now back to our regularly scheduled dental health lesson currently in progress.
Set-up for the dental health activity
Set up: cut out part of an egg carton, about half a dozen eggshells are about perfect. Since some of my egg cartons had already been used by overly eager kids for crafting, they got random amounts.
On the carton paint stains on the “teeth” using poster paint, and then put play dough between the different egg shells (is that the proper term? egg holes? egg cases?).
Next to set up with the kids talk about the importance of proper teeth care, brushing, flossing, and all of that.
Then show them the challenge, to remove all of the stains from the “teeth” using the provided supplies.
At this point my kids were quite happy, Mom-sanctioned messes, that’s always a hit.
First they happily flossed with the yarn and got the play dough off. That was the easy part.
Then they started “brushing their teeth,” and they loved dipping the brushes into the water and scrubbing their teeth. The paint came off easier than I expected. I had a backup lesson planned about how some foods permanently stain teeth if the paint hadn’t come off, but it wasn’t needed.
All told I think the lesson took 30 minutes from start to finish. The kids spent several days talking about how to best care for their teeth, but I need to familiarize them with it again because they aren’t really remembering their teeth brushing as well now.
It was a pretty fun lesson, says Future Ticia 2023, and I thoroughly enjoyed how we learned about dental health with this lesson.
More great elementary fun
Since we learned about this during 3rd grade, let me see what other 3rd-grade ideas I have here.