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Teeth Unit & Lapbook

Teeth and Tooth Fairy Multi-book Theme Unit

Unit and printables created by Christian Stordahl


Note:  This unit uses three books -- Throw Your Tooth on the Roof by Selby Beeler, Science Fair Bunnies by Kathryn Lasky, and Open Wide by Laurie Keller.   There are notes in the unit when to use each book. 

Printables (includes worksheets and mini-books)

Whole Mouth Diagram
Animal Teeth Match
Tooth Fairy Money Pages
George Washington's Teeth Accordion
Animal Teeth Matching Pocket
Tooth Fairy Money Pocket
Why Should We Brush? Experiment Chart
Floss Me
Fractions Worksheet
Brushing and Flossing Chart
Brush Me
Tally Chart Worksheet
Anatomy of a Tooth & What Am I? Worksheet
Tooth Chart & Numberline Sample
Skip Counting Cards
How Many Teeth? Flap Book
Blank Numberline
Rhyming Words Tooth Shape Book
"Every Tooth Has a Job" Wheel
Personification Worksheet
List of /th/ Words
Bible Flap Book Going to the Dentist Layer Book  

Social Studies Activities

Read Throw Your Tooth on the Roof by Selby Beeler.


Talk with your child about the meaning of traditions, that they are things you do over and over, often passed on from one generation to the next.  Ask your child which tooth traditions were the funniest, strangest, most surprising etc.  Think of traditions in our culture that you participate in and some traditions you share with your family now, and if you don’t have any, come up with a list of two or three that you would like to implement over the next year. 

There are many countries mentioned throughout
Throw Your Tooth on the Roof by Selby Beeler.  Choose any number of them to locate on a globe or world map.  Note which continent they are on (perhaps make a list of the countries, sorting them according to continent?), note their neighbors, note any mountain ranges or rivers, etc.  If desired, read books with your student about several of the countries or have older students research and write a brief report.

Map Skills
What you need: maps of any kind, from any location

If your scholar is not familiar with maps there are a few terms you can take time to explain, this is easiest to do with a few maps you can gather up of any place.

·         Compass Rose—a drawing on a map that shows direction

·         Cardinal Directions—North, South, East and West

·         Intermediate Directions—Northeast, Northwest, Southeast and Southwest

·         Scale—tells you how much smaller the distance on a map is compared to the actual distance. 

·         Map Key/Legend—explains the symbols used on the map.

·         Political Map—shows political boundaries, borders for countries, states, etc.

·         Physical Map—Shows types of landforms, bodies of water, natural features of the earth

·         Thematic Map—shows climates, vegetation, natural resources, population, economics, etc.

Legend Practice
What you need:  world map outline with political borders for each country, crayons

Have your scholar choose 3 to 5 traditions out of the book.  Using the world map outline locate the country where each tradition originates and color it in.  Use a different color for each country.  Make a legend at the bottom of the page by writing each tradition and labeling it with the appropriate color. 

Continent recognition, compass rose practice, scale practice
What you need: continent outline map, South America outline map, pencil, crayons,

Using continent map, label the seven continents.  Turn to the South America pages in the book.  Using the South America Map label and color the 5 countries listed in the book.  Using the compass rose answer the following questions:

1.      If you were in Brazil, which direction do you need to travel to get to Venezuela?

2.      If you were in Columbia, which direction do you need to travel to get to Argentina?

3.      Which side of the continent is Chile on?

4.      Come up with other questions using the map and the compass rose.

Using the scale on the map answer the following questions:

1.      How many miles from Argentina to Brazil if you cross Bolivia?

2.      How many miles wide is South America at its widest part?

3.      How many miles wide is Chile at its widest part?

4.      Come up with other questions using the map and the scale.

Cardinal/Intermediate Directions
What you need: small stuffed animal or prize

Hide a small stuffed animal or prize in your house.  Designate a starting point and then use the Cardinal Directions, North, South, East and West, to direct your child to the prize.  Then switch places with him.  If he is really good at this game include the intermediate directions as well.

Map of the mouth
Take the whole mouth diagram and turn it into a map!  Complete it with a compass rose, create a scale, a key, draw borders around groups of teeth and give them names.  Label some of the natural features as if they were types of landforms.  (Lip Lake, United Tooth Kingdom, Cheekquador, etc.)  Use your imagination and be creative!

George Washington's Teeth
There are many rumors about our first President's teeth.   Read through the information with your student and fold it up to make an accordion book.

Occupations- Dentist
Discuss the occupation of dentist.   Read through the
Going to the Dentist Layer Book together.  Note:  This layer book includes information contained in the science lessons, too. 

Make a pretend dentist's office. Gather a large white t-shirt, a chair, a flashlight, a bib, a mirror, a toothbrush, some floss and other things to pretend are dental tools. This will require adult supervision so kids aren’t putting inappropriate things in each other’s mouths!

Ask a local dentist if you can take a field trip through his facility.

Science Activitie7

Read Science Fair Bunnies by Kathryn Lasky.

Why Should We Brush?
What you need: 2 hard boiled eggs, 2 cups of dark brown soda pop, 2 cups of vinegar, and containers for each, prepared chart.

You can use this experiment to introduce the scientific method to your child.  Start by identifying the question you want answered, possibly “What will happen to my teeth if I don’t brush them?”  Make observations about the eggs.  Talk with your child about the similarities between the eggs and our teeth.  They are both white; both contain calcium, which makes them hard, both have a protective covering.  Take a guess as to what is going to happen to each egg, these are your hypotheses. 

Put one egg into each container of liquid and leave overnight.  As you take them out the next day record your observations on the provided chart.  The soda-egg represents what happens to your teeth when you eat too much sugar and don’t brush afterward, the egg will be discolored, and possibly have some pits. 

The vinegar-egg will be very fragile and soft.  Vinegar is an acid and removes the calcium from the egg, just like acid in our food breaks down the calcium in our teeth and leads to cavities.   We should brush after we eat to remove anything that will harm our teeth!

Walk your child through the similarities and differences in each egg compared to the day before.  Were his hypotheses true, if not what did happen?  Does that answer your original question?  Compare them to our teeth; make sure he understands what happened to the eggs and why.

Use this Brushing and Flossing Chart to help your student remember to brush and floss each day!

Tooth Anatomy
After the “Why Should We Brush” experiment, it is a good time to talk about cavities and what causes them.  Bacteria live in our mouths all the time, some are good and some are bad.  The bad bacteria like to stick to our teeth, this is called plaque.  When plaque mixes with the sugary stuff we eat, it causes acid.  Acid breaks down the enamel on our teeth and causes little holes.  Those holes are called cavities.  Look at the picture of the anatomy of a tooth, show your child where the enamel is, and how it protects the rest of our tooth.  When the cavity gets big enough, the sensitive area of our teeth, called the pulp is exposed and it begins to hurt.  A dentist must repair a cavity before it gets too big, or it could ruin the whole tooth.  The dentist uses a small drill to remove the damaged part of our tooth and then fills it with a hard, protective substance.  Using picture of the anatomy of a tooth with labels, fill in the blanks on the “What Am I?” worksheet.

How many teeth do you have?  Does your student know?  An average child has 20 teeth known as deciduous teeth.  These teeth start growing into your mouth at about 6 months of age.  Most children have all their deciduous teeth by 2-3 years of age.  At about age 6, children start to lose their deciduous teeth.   The second set of teeth are called permanent teeth.  They are called permanent because if you take care of them you can have them all of your life.  They start coming in around 6 years of age and all 32 have finished growing by ages 18-25.  Complete the How Many Teeth? Flap Book.

Different teeth have different shapes and were created for different jobs.   Print the "Every Tooth Has a Job" wheel and read through it with your student.  Can he find each kind of tooth in his mouth?   Paste the wheel in your lapbook or notebook.

Tooth Impressions
What you need: whole mouth diagram, blocks of cheese, apples, or bubble gum (big enough to bite into)

Using the cheese, apples or gum, bite into them and make impressions of each type of tooth in your mouth (do it in sections, rather than individual teeth.  No matter which one you use, this is slobbery and sloppy, keep some wipes handy (apples worked the best for mess factor, cheese made the best impressions, bubble gum is the most fun)!  When you are done making impressions, compare it to the whole mouth diagram.  See if you can arrange the pieces of food into a model of your mouth.  Don’t forget to brush when you are finished!

Dental Hygiene

What you need: brush/floss chart, possible reward, toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, as an extra you can pick up some disclosing tablets and a tooth mirror.

To keep plaque from building up and causing cavities you should brush twice a day, and floss once a day.  Spend some time teaching (or reviewing) good brushing and flossing habits.  Hang up the brush/floss chart in the bathroom where your child can easily mark off the days and times he brushed and flossed.  Consider a reward once the chart is complete if he has established a good habit.  If you really want to make an impact, get some disclosing tablets from your dentist or local drugstore/pharmacy along with a little dental mirror.  After chewing on the tablets, you spit and rinse.  The tablets stain the dirty parts of your teeth so you can see where you need to brush and floss better, and the stains go away with a good tooth brushing.

Animal Teeth
Animals have teeth too!  Have fun matching the animal teeth to the pictures.  Laminate the worksheet so your student can use over and over again!

Just for Fun
Include these activities in your notebook:
Floss Me
Brush Me - to make the toothbrush, cut a toothbrush shape out of cardstock.  Laminate, if possible.  Attach a piece of felt to the head of the brush.

Math Activities

Number lines

What you need: tooth chart (3rd page), number line worksheet, and crayons

Using the tooth chart --color all the incisors red, all the canine teeth blue, all the premolars yellow, and all the molars green.  Using the number line worksheet, answer the following questions and graph your answers with the coordinating color.

1.      How many incisor teeth do you have?

2.      How many canine teeth do you have?

3.      How many premolars do you have?

4.      How many molars do you have?

5.      Add those numbers together on the number line, how many teeth do you have altogether?

Tooth Fairy Math
What you need: tooth fairy money pages and coins of various denominations

Print and cut teeth.  Explain that each tooth is printed with the amount of money the tooth fairy is willing to pay.  Let your child pretend to be the tooth fairy and trade teeth for money with him.  You can make piles of coins in advance as a matching game, or have your child figure out the correct way to make the amounts himself.   You can also designate how many coins he should use for each tooth.  For example for 25 cents you could say “use  5 coins”, and your child  would need to figure out how to make 25 cents using only 5 coins. 

Store your teeth in this pocket, if desired.

If you have never introduced fractions to your child there is an easy way to do so. Simply state that up until now he has been using the number 1 to build up from there and get bigger and bigger numbers.  Now he is going to do something different, he is going to take the number 1 and break it into smaller parts.  These are called fractions.  To write a fraction you write one number over another number.  Show an example.  The bottom number, called the denominator stands for all of the smaller parts that we broke the whole into.  All these parts are the same size.  The top number, or the numerator, is how many of those parts we choose. 

There is a corresponding worksheet, color the portion of each tooth, that represents the fraction listed next to it.  After some short, simple practice your child should be able to identify fractions, as well as the numerator and denominator.

Tally Chart
Use the prepared tally chart worksheet to learn more about surveys, counting, tally marks, simple addition, simple subtraction and an introduction to story problems.

You will likely have to help your child with question #9.  You might help him figure out how many total kids Susie spoke to or how many kids did not get money from the tooth fairy.

Skip Counting
Use the prepared cards to skip count by 5s with teeth!
Pocket to store cards in.

Language Arts Activities

Read Open Wide: Tooth School Inside By Laurie Kellar.

As you read, point out times throughout the book when the teeth have human qualities, feelings, actions or characteristics.  When you are done, explain that these are examples of personification.  Help your child understand that personification is a literary device which gives inanimate objects human traits.  Using this as a backdrop, ask your scholar to pretend he is a tooth.  Ask questions like “How do you feel after you are brushed?”  “What is your favorite food?”  “What do you and your tooth friends do for fun?”  After a brief “interview” with your child, have him write a letter (as if he were a tooth) to his owner about how and why he and his tooth friends need to be taken care of.  This can be just a few sentences, and you may need to dictate the letter, depending on your child’s ability.  Use prepared worksheet to circle sentences from the book that use personification.

Rhyming Words
Make a mini-book of words that rhyme with plaque.

Phonics- Long /u/ sound

What you need: pencil and writing paper, a way to keep time

Set a timer, or countdown with the clock, and see how many words you and your child can come up with that rhyme with tooth in 10 seconds, or 20 seconds, you determine the timeframe.  Using the list as a starting point, review different ways to make the /oo/ sound, and words containing those combinations.

/oo/-goose, moose, loose, school, boo, moo, boot, moon, spoon, cartoon

/ew/—stew, drew, chew, blew, crew, flew, new

/ue/—true, blue, clue, glue, rue, Sue

silent e—prune, flute, chute, June, tune

other instances—flu, two, shoe, fruit, tuba

(This list of words is from a cute phonics song on YouTube)

Here is a sentence containing many of the letter combinations for long u, have your child copy this sentence and then make up his own sentence using as many of the long /u/ combinations that he can think of.

It is true, Stew the goose chewed two fruits in June!

(This can be a hard lesson to learn, chances are that your child will recognize the pronunciation and read it correctly in context even if he can’t identify it simply by hearing the difference.)

There are two ways to say “th.”

The soft sound as in—thin, thick, thank, thunder, thistle, think. 

Have your scholar practice making this sound by breathing out and lifting his tongue to the top teeth.

The hard sound as in—this, that, them, those, the, then, they.

The easiest way to learn the difference between these two pronunciations is to practice them together and listen carefully to the differences.  Sometimes it is helpful to recognize HOW the sound is being made, is he blowing out air as he lifts his tongue, if so it is a soft “th”.

This thin

That thick

Thank them

The thunder

Those thistle

They think

Hard/Soft TH Game
What you need: Something soft, like a pillow or blanket, that your child can jump onto. Also, something hard, a piece of cardboard, or floor tile, that your child can jump onto, list of hard and soft TH words

Using prepared word list, shout out one of the words, if it is a hard th sound your child should jump onto the hard object.  If it is a soft th sound, your scholar should jump onto the soft object.


Discuss how God created us with so many unique features -- including teeth!  What different things can our mouths be used for?  Use the flap book to aid in your discussion and to help you find Bible verses to discuss as well.

Art, Crafts, and Fun Songs

Are Your Teeth Clean and White?

Sung to: "Do Your Ears Hang Low!"

Are your teeth clean and white?
Do you brush them every night?
Do you brush them in the morning?
Do you brush them right?
Do you brush them side to side?
Are your teeth clean and white?
Do you brush them good
To remove the bits of food?
Do you brush them twice a day?
Like you know you should?
Do you take good care of
The teeth that are there?
Do you brush them good?

2nd verse substitute “floss” for “brush” and “every day” for “twice a day.”

Brush, Brush, Brush your Teeth

Sung to: "Row, Row, Row your Boat"

Brush, brush, brush your teeth.
At least two times a day.
Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, cleaning,
Fighting tooth decay.
Floss, floss, floss your teeth.
Every single day.
Gently, gently, gently, gently,
Whisking Plaque away.
Rinse, rinse, rinse your teeth
Every single day.
Swishing, swishing, swishing, swishing,
Fighting tooth decay.

Sparkle, Sparkle, Little Teeth

Sung to: "Twinkle, Twinkle"

Sparkle, sparkle, little teeth,
Some above and some beneath.
Brush them all at every meal,
Clean and fresh they'll always feel.
Sparkle, sparkle, little teeth,
Some above and some beneath.

Floss them, floss them, in between.
Cavities will not be seen!
See your dentist twice a year,
You will grin from ear to ear.
Floss them, floss them, in between,
Cavities will not be seen!

Snacking, snacking, it's okay.
Try it in the proper way.
Eat raw veggies, fruit and cheese.
They will make your mouth say "Please!"
Snacking, snacking, it's okay.
Try it in the proper way.

Toothbrush Painting
What you need: Old toothbrush, paint, paper, paper plate and a shallow cardboard box.

Place the paper inside the box; this will cut down on splatters from the painting.  Use the paper plate as an artist’s palette for the paints.  Dip the toothbrush in the paint and then quickly but firmly run one finger over the bristles, pointing the toothbrush down towards the paper.  Makes great splatter paint pictures!

Floss Painting
What you need: Dental floss cut into long strings, paper, different color paints in pots

Fold a piece of paper in half and open it up again. Dip a piece of floss into the paint until it is covered completely, leaving a few paint-free inches at one end.  Lift the floss out and gradually lay it on the paper, making loops and designs as you go, leaving the paint-free end sticking over the edge of the paper.

Fold the paper over on top of the floss. Hold down the top half of the paper onto the string and gently, but firmly pull the string by holding the paint-free end until it is out of the paper.  Unfold the paper to see what design was left behind, you can do multiple colors, but need to wait for each color to dry in between.

Have your child trace and label or sketch and label a diagram of a tooth. 

Clay or Play-doh
Mold or model tooth shapes out of clay or play-dough.  Poke holes in them to make “cavities” and then fill them in with different color clay.  Use dental floss to cut through the clay like you were flossing in between teeth.

Teeth “Cleaning”
What you need: Yellow or grey construction paper, white paint, old toothbrush, scissors and tooth templates.

Let your child cut several teeth from the template in yellow or grey construction paper.  Using the white paint and the toothbrush, he can “brush” the teeth with the white paint until they are “clean”

List O' Links

~Lots of fun stuff at the toothpaste websites:  Colgate, Orajel, Crest, ect.
~Enchanted Learning has tooth anatomy pages listed under the human anatomy pages
~ (look for dental health unit) American Dental Association website, lots of info and activities.