I can still remember learning about teeth and dentists through our dental health activities back when I was in elementary school. Can you? I remember seeing a huge model of a mouth and taking turns brushing its teeth. I can also picture the dentist who came to talk to us in first grade. And I’m pretty sure I can remember most of the words to our dental health song (but don’t ask me to sing, ha!).
I think I remember these dental health activities because my teacher took the time to plan meaningful, fun, and hands-on activities for us. Since February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, it’s the perfect time for me to help you plan out engaging dental health activities for your students. I put together a list of six different things you could include in your lessons, including a freebie at the end!
Books to Support Learning
Science read alouds are a fantastic way to integrate science into your day. They build background knowledge for your students before you introduce a new topic. They can also provide visual support for your ELL students to be more successful. Science read alouds can easily engage students and begin the conversations they will have with new vocabulary. I have two read alouds for you to try!
Just Going to the Dentist By Mercer Mayor
This book follows Little Critter as he goes to the dentist to get a cleaning and x-rays. Then, he has a cavity and needs a filling. Your students will love learning about what a dentist’s office visit will be like through Little Critter’s eyes.
The Tooth Book by Mark Bacera
This book is a quick read that starts with a silly story being told by a child, and then switches to a dentist teaching kids all about teeth, the anatomy of the mouth, types of teeth, and how to take care of them. It’s an illustrated picture book that’s both an easy read and educational.
You can find my other dental health read aloud suggestions on my free Mega Science Read Aloud List. It also has book suggestions for every single science topic covered in first grade!
4 Videos to Support Learning
You can easily use videos to support learning about dental health! Here are a few videos I found for K-2 to go along with the dental health activities you have planned.
Invite a Dentist
One of my all-time favorite dental health activities is to invite a real dentist or dental hygenist to our school to talk to us about dental health and visiting the dentist. Several dentist offices in our area have presentations already prepared as well as different props and models to bring. You could also ask parents in your classroom or grade and see if any of them have experience in this field, too.
Dental Health Science Unit
One of the best ways to teach all about dental health is to integrate science, reading, and writing. The Dental Health Unit does just this! It’s packed with purposeful and intentional dental health activities. It has everything you and your students need all in one place.
It starts with a detailed lesson planning guide to make lesson planning a breeze. Then it has teaching posters, graphic organizers, vocabulary cards, cut-and-paste activities, and sorting activities. It also has a science experiment, anchor charts, and a unit assessment.
Finally, the Dental Health resource has literacy components like a shared reading poem with a 5-day lesson plan, a mini book, phonics activities, and a writing craft.
You can get the Dental Health Unit HERE!
Dental Health Shared Reading
If you already have your science dental health activities ready, but you need a little something else, shared reading is the way to go! Within this 15 minute block of time, you can teach so many powerful minilessons to move your readers and writers forward. Plus, you get to integrate your science and social studies topics to give your students more practice with important vocabulary.
February Shared Reading has four weeks of poems, including one week about dental health. Each week’s poem has two student versions, two phonics activities, a whole group pocket chart sort, and a five-day teaching plan.
You can find the February Shared Reading Unit HERE! (Note the dental health poem is included in the Dental Health Science Unit)
Free Dental Health Writing Paper
Finally, I have a free dental health writing activity for you! You can use this as an informal assessment, to extend learning during morning work time, or as an activity during writer’s workshop. Just print and copy and you’ll be set to go! Click the image below and you will be set!
Let’s make this February’s National Children’s Dental Health Month the best yet! Grab your books, bookmark your videos, and download the resources you need to make planning a breeze.