I think I've done a fairly decent job over the years of covering all my bases when teaching dental health. The missing piece has been how to thoroughly convince little people that they really must take dental health seriously, which is kind of an important missing piece. I suppose I could have created some type of kid-friendly spreadsheet that parents checked off each night and returned to school for a sticker or prize, but that felt artificial. After some deliberation, this year I devised a plan that I think drives home my point in a real life kind of way that will hopefully stick for a long time.
I started off my unit with a short slide presentation and a big question. Do you have big dreams for your teeth?
My second slide showed pictures of teeth that were not in the best of shape and asked, "How did this happen?"
I was planning on putting small groups to the task of writing down their thoughts, but my crew was struggling this day with things like cooperation and character, so individuals wrote down their ideas on whiteboards. Then I collected their ideas on the board.
The third slide showed a perfect set of teeth and the question again of "How did this happen?" Individuals once more wrote down their thoughts which we then added to the board.
Everything we've talked about since has come back to these slides, pictures, and big question...
Do you have big dreams for your teeth?
A mom recently told me that her daughter asked her older brother if he had big dreams for his teeth when he ate two scoops of ice cream instead of one. I think my plan might be working. :)