Activity Plan 3-4: Caring For Our Teeth
Watch children's sparkly smiles as they learn about dental hygiene
- Grades: PreK–K
Ready-To-Use Teaching Idea: Health and Hygiene
- Chart paper
- Markers and crayons
- Books about dental hygiene such as Brush Your Teeth Please: A Pop-up Book by Leslie McGuire or I Know Why I Brush My Teeth by Kate Rowan
- Drawing paper
Objective: Children will learn how to find information in print and nonprint sources and develop observational, literacy, and language skills as they learn about the importance of caring for their teeth.
In Advance: Send a note home explaining the dental care unit and request that families send in a toothbrush, toothbrush case, and toothpaste for their child to use in the classroom.
1 Language Experience: What Do We Know About Our Teeth? Find out what children already know about caring for their teeth. Write the question How Do We Take Care of Our Teeth? on a sheet of chart paper. Then record children's responses.
2 Literacy: Summarizing Our Stories. Read a book about dental hygiene to the class. Invite children to create a language experience chart to summarize information presented. You may need to reread the book so.they have several opportunities to discuss and understand the information. They can also draw a picture and dictate information about something they learned.
3 Health and Music: This Is the Way We Brush Our Teeth! Invite the class to brush their teeth each day following meal times. Together, create a chart listing rules for tooth brushing including: use only your own toothbrush and toothpaste; turn off the water until you are ready to rinse; don't swallow the toothpaste; rinse your mouth with water; and put your toothbrush away when you are finished. Teach children this fun song to sing while waiting to brush their teeth:
This is the way we brush our teeth, brush our teeth, brush our teeth. This is the way we brush our teeth to keep decay away. We brush them every day! So we can smile and say ... (Repeat song)
4 Math: How Many Teeth Do You Have? Ask children to guess how many baby teeth most children have. Record their responses. Then help them find the correct answer using a book or an online resource, or by consulting a dental care professional. Create a take-home activity requesting family members to help their child count her teeth. Ask them to record the information on a sheet of paper and ask each child to share the findings during group time.
Curriculum Connection: SOCIAL STUDIES
Dental Health Professions. Engage children in a discussion about people who care for our teeth-dentists, dental hygienists, orthodontists, and oral surgeons. Plan to visit a dental office or invite a dental health professional to the classroom. Have children prepare a series of questions they will ask the dental care professional.
Let's Find Out About Toothpaste* by Kathy Barabas (Scholastic Inc.; $4.95)
Make Way for Tooth Decay* by Bobbi Katz (Scholastic Inc.; $3.50)
Open Wide by Laurie Keller (Henry Holt, 2003; $6.95)