February is Dental Health Month, so teach your preschoolers all about their teeth with these two lessons. These teeth lessons can also be used as part a unit about health or the human body.
How Many Teeth? Lesson Plan
Your preschool students will have fun with this lesson as they learn how many teeth they will have at different stages in their lives. Your lesson will begin with the reading of a fun, educational book about teeth and culminate with the students making a model of their mouths and teeth.
The book, How Many Teeth? by Paul Showers
Small cups, one per child
Small marshmallows, dry navy beans or other items to represent teeth, at least 20 per child
Oval shaped red or pink construction paper, one per child
Begin by reading and discussing the book How Many Teeth? Focus on how the students will still have their baby teeth and that they 20 baby teeth - 10 on top ad 10 on bottom. You might also talk about how their permanent teeth are beginning to form under their baby teeth and that in a few years they will begin to lose their baby to make room for their 32 permanent teeth.
After reading the book, tell the class that they are going to make their own models of their teeth. Give each student a red or pink oval. Have them fold it in half and tell them that it represents their mouth with no teeth in it. Then each student a small cup of marshmallows or navy beans to use as the teeth.
Show them how to count out ten beans for the top teeth. Have them open the "mouths" again and show them how to glue the ten "teeth" along the upper edge of the oval. Then have them count out ten again and glue them along the lower edge to make the bottom teeth. When finished each child has a model of a mouth with its twenty baby teeth.
After making the models the children should be able to tell you that we have twenty baby teeth. This can also be used to assess counting. Which students could easily count out the items for the teeth? Which ones needed help? Some students may be able to count to ten, but still struggle with counting actual objects correctly.
Your students will easily remember how many teeth they have after they make the mouth model.
Parts of a Tooth Lesson Plan
Preschool students will learn some of the basic parts that make up their teeth with this lesson plan.
A large diagram of a tooth with the crown, pulp, roots and gums labeled
One tooth shape cut out of white paper, per child
A one-inch wide strip of pink or red construction paper, per child
A red or pink crayon, per child
Labels that say crown, pulp, roots and gums, one set per child
Go over the diagram of a tooth with your students. Point out the parts of the tooth and what each is,
- The crown is the top part of the tooth that we can see.
- The roots hold the tooth in place.
- The pulp is the inside of the tooth and is filled with blood and nerves.
- The gums are the pink skin that is around the tooth.
You can also tell them that the jawbone is under the gums and that their teeth fit into the jawbone.
Show students the completed tooth diagram. Then give each student glue, a tooth shape, a strip of pink or red paper and a red or pink crayon. Hold up one of the tooth shapes and ask the students to point to the crown and then the roots of the tooth. Tell them to glue the tooth to the pink paper, so that the crown is above the pink paper and the roots are below it. The pink paper represents the gums. Then have them use their crayon to color in the pulp of the tooth. For younger students, you may want to have the pulp outlined already so they can just color it in.
Once the students are finished coloring and gluing, pass out the labels. If you print the words on return address label stickers, they will be easy for the students to stick on. They can also be cut out and then glued on. Help the students find each label and have them apply it to the correct place on their pictures.
Ask each student individually to point out the four parts of the tooth that you discussed.
Read more books about teeth like Open Wide: Tooth School Inside by Laurie Keller or The Tooth Book: A Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums by Edward Miller. All of the tooth books mentioned can be purchased here.