To create an awareness of the various structures found in the mouth.

Materials Needed:
Small unbreakable hand mirrors (one per student, if possible)
Photographs of students (optional)
Polaroid camera (optional)
Activity Page, "Face with Missing Part"
Parent Letter, "Awareness of the Mouth"

Background Information for the Teacher:
Children should be made aware of the mouth as an important part of the body. This understanding will help them become interested in giving the mouth the daily care it needs for good health.

Each of the parts in the mouth-- the teeth, gums, lips, tongue, cheeks--has its own special purpose. Healthy mouths look and feel different from mouths that are not in good health. Healthy teeth are a shade of white, shiny, and strong. Healthy gums are pink or brownish, depending upon race. Healthy tongues are pink or red.

Starting the Lesson:
Begin this lesson by instructing children to wash their hands with soap and water. If available, distribute non breakable mirrors to each child.

A.  Ask the children the following questions:

"Where are your eyes?" (Have children point to their eyes.)

"Where are your ears?" (Have children point to their ears.)

"Where is your nose?" (Have children point to their nose.)

"Where is your mouth?" (Have children point to their mouth.)

"Where is your tongue?" (Have children point to their tongue.)

"What do your eyes do?"

"What do you like to see when you go outside?"

"What do your ears do?"

"What do you like to hear when you are at school?"

"What does your nose do?"

"What do you like to smell when you are at home?"

"What does your mouth do?" (Try to elicit from children "eat," "talk," "chew," and "smile.")

"What foods do you like to eat?" "What do you like to talk about?"

"What makes you smile?"

B.  Emphasize to the children that the mouth helps us do many things. Instruct the children to look inside their mouth. If possible, distribute mirrors for the children to use. If mirrors are not available, have the children look in each others' mouth.

Ask the children what they see inside their mouth (encourage responses such as "white teeth," "pink or brown gums," pink or red tongue").

C.  Have the children feel their teeth and lips with their finger. Ask the children questions such as:

"What do you see in the mirror when you smile?"

"What do your lips feel like?"

"What do your teeth feel like?"

"Are your teeth wet or are they dry?"

"Are parts of your teeth smooth?"

"Are parts of your teeth rough or bumpy?"

"Are your teeth hard or are they soft?"

"Are there any spaces between your teeth?"

D.  Ask the children the following:

"Where is the top of your mouth?", "Can you point to it?"

"Point to the bottom of your mouth." "What's at the bottom of your mouth?" (tongue)

"Point to the sides of your mouth." "What's at the side of your mouth?" (cheeks)

Classroom Activities
1. Art Activity - Distribute Activity Page, "Face with Missing Part" to each student. Discuss what is shown in the picture. Ask the students what is missing. instruct the students to complete the picture by adding their smile and any other physical characteristics they wish to create.

If available, have children glue beans, macaroni or yarn to complete the picture.

You may also have children turn the sheet over and draw a picture of themselves or something that makes them smile.

2. Language Arts Activity - Give individual children an opportunity to show their completed picture to the class and explain why the face is smiling. Do not insist that every child participate, only those who wish to do so.

3. Music Activity - Teach children the following song: "Smiles We See," sung to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."

Smiles, smiles, smiles we see

Smiles for you and me

My teeth are clean

My teeth are white

My face is very bright.

4. Art Activity for Bulletin Board - Take pictures of every child in the class or have children bring in a photograph showing themselves smiling. Display the photographs on the bulletin board. If photographs are not available, you may display each child's completed Activity Page, "Face with Missing Part."

Encourage children to suggest a title for the bulletin board. Based on their responses, select a title, cut out letters, and post on the bulletin board. The completed bulletin board may be used to practice letter recognition by having children identify individual letters in the title.

Lesson Review,
Puppet Story:

Hi, boys and girls. It's nice to see you again. Wasn't it fun learning all about your face? Let's see if you remember all the different parts. Can you all point to your eyes? Terrific! And who would like to tell me what your eyes do? Very good Now show me your ears. That's right! Who wants to tell me what your ears do? Excellent! Now what's that thing in the middle of your face that sometimes goes sniff, sniff? Right, it's your nose. Can all of you put a finger on your nose? That's great! And who can tell me what your nose does? Terrific.

There's another part of your face we haven't talked about. You use it to talk and to do many other things. Who can tell me what it is called? That's right Can you point to your mouth? Very good! What are some of the things you can do with your mouth? (talk, eat, chew, smile) Let's see everyone's big smile! Now let's hold up our mirrors and look at what's inside the mouth. Would someone like to tell me one of the things you see inside your mouth? (teeth, tongue, lips, gums, cheeks) Good! Can someone else name something that's in your mouth? Very good Now look at your tongue. What color is it? Can you wiggle your tongue? Terrific! Use your tongue to feel all the parts of your teeth. How do they feel? Wow. You've learned a lot about the different parts of your face and what's inside your mouth. Next time, when I come back, we'll talk some more about some of the parts of the mouth and what they do for us. See you soon! Bye!

  Parent Letter:  "Awareness of the Mouth"

Dear Head Start Parent:

It is important for children to learn about and take care of their teeth and mouth. Today your child learned about the different parts of the mouth such as the teeth, gums, cheeks, lips, and tongue. We believe our dental health lessons in Head Start will help your child learn about the importance of the mouth and help him or her prevent dental disease.

You may want to have your child tell you about the different parts of the mouth. You might also point to a part in your mouth and ask your child to name that part.

I will send you more information on the dental health program as it continues. If at any time you have any questions, please feel free to call me.