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Home                                                                                              By Amber Finan

Clean Teeth (K-3)



Ø     When at home or at school, students will be able to correctly brush their teeth and understand why their teeth need to be brushed.



        This lesson uses children’s literature as an introduction and/or motivation of the topic, clean teeth.  An interesting book about clean teeth is read to the students to activate their prior knowledge and grab their attention.  According to Gillbert and Temple (2001), by awakening their curiosity, their thoughts, and their questions, we will prepare students (or they will prepare themselves) to enter the next stage in the learning process (p. 374).  For children at this age, reading an exciting book that relates to the topic to be learned will motivate, while introducing the topic.   



Ø     One hard boiled egg for each student

Ø     One tooth brush for each student

Ø     Toothpaste

Ø     A cup for each student

Ø     Dark Soda (enough for each egg to be emerged in)

Ø     Guest Speak -- Dentist or Dental Hygienists


Introduction and Motivation

Read to the students a book that interests them about the cleanliness of teeth, such as Tooth Fairy by Audrey Wood or The Berenstain Bears Visit to the Dentist by Jan and Stan Berenstain.  Through class discussion, motivate the students to discuss what foods are bad or good for their teeth.  Ask them how they brush their teeth.  Have them share positive experiences about visiting the dentist. 


Exploration Phase of the Learning Cycle

Have the students do the egg activity.  Hand out the materials – each student gets an egg, a cup of soda, a toothbrush, and toothpaste (several students can share a tube).  Explain to the children that the egg represents their teeth right now (nice and white).  Tell them the soda resembles the bad things for their teeth.  Have each student drop his or her egg into the soda and let it sit there for about an hour (during lunch or recess).  Have each student pull out the egg and listen to their observations and why they think that the egg is brown.  Then allow each student to gently brush his or her egg clean with the toothbrush and toothpaste.


Introduction Phase of the Learning Cycle

Talk about what things are good for your teeth and what things are bad.  Ask the children what they think will happen to their teeth if they do not brush them and how could they keep their teeth in good shape.

Introduce the dentist or hygienist to class. Tell students this person will teach them how to brush their teeth to protect them.  Have tape with students’ names ready to put on the toothbrushes.  Emphasize that sharing toothbrushes is a way to spread germs.  Explain that is why each student is getting his or her own toothbrush.


Further Application Phase of the Learning Cycle   

Ø     Introduce a lesson on teeth, having students learn the kinds of teeth in a person’s mouth.  Examine different types of animal’s teeth, showing how they are similar to our teeth.

Ø     Show students animal’s teeth and how most of their teeth are stained, via videotape or direct observation.

Ø     Have the students write two short sentences about their visit to the dentist and post their work in the classroom.


Student Evaluation Possibilities

Ø     Give brushing teeth worksheet to students  

Ø      Students can demonstrate the need to brush their teeth through class discussions

PA Academic Standards

Ø     1.1.3.  Section A: identify the purposes and types of text before reading.

Ø     1.2.3.  Section A: Read and understand essential content of informational texts and documents in all academic areas.

Ø     1.3.3. Section A: Read and understand works of literature.


Health Teacher with WEB MD:  Brushing Teeth Lesson

A to Z Teacher Stuff: Stay Away Tooth Decay Lesson

Wallace Gillet, J., & Temple, C. (2000).  Understanding Reading

Problems Assessment and Instruction.  New York:  Longman.