This month, our co-op has been reading through The Toothpaste Millionaire by Jean Merrill, a lighthearted tale of how sixth grader, Rufus Mayflower, makes a million dollars by selling homemade toothpaste out of the laundry room of his friend, Kate MacKinstrey. As always, we split a chapter book into two book club meetings.
For our first get-together, the architect's wife put together a unit study with a dental hygiene focus. She began the morning by reading a few pages from the National Geographic Kids First Big Book of Why by Amy Shields. The kids got a glimpse at how teeth grow in, what each kind of tooth is used for, and some basic dental vocabulary.
Next, she split them all into groups of two or three and gave each group a dental vocabulary word match sheet printed from Enchanted Learning. The team who matched the terms the fastest got to pick the snack of the morning. She gave a handful of cavity-inducing snack choices. The winners opted for sugary fruit snacks.
After covering their teeth with potentially harmful sugar, the kids sat down to discuss the history of the toothbrush and how it has evolved over the centuries and then watched a short How It's Made episode on the making of the modern day toothbrush.
The architect's wife then passed out pink plaque disclosing tablets and instructed the kids to chew the tablets, spit out the residue, and then do a double mouth rinse to reveal the plaque buildup brought on by poor oral hygiene.
A quick gathering of smiles revealed the results.
The kid's used the pink stain as a guide to help them brush their teeth free of plaque.
In two weeks, we will gather as a group again to discuss the second half of the book. Be sure to check back in to watch as the kids try their hand at product production and advertisement.