Don’t let your science lesson plans turn into turning on a boring video with a handout. Science should be about exploring with our eyes and hands and this dental health experiment does just that!
Why hands on?
We all know that science should be based on hands on exploration, but what are the benefits?
Concrete Understanding– would you agree that the majority of your students are visual learners? We are surrounded by visuals every hour of the day. Society has pulled us away from reading to watching everything we need to know. Hands-on experiments engage children actively in the learning process. Instead of simply reading about scientific concepts or watching demonstrations, children get to manipulate materials, make observations, and draw conclusions through firsthand experiences.
Triggers Curiosity- When they have the opportunity to explore and investigate through experiments, they are more likely to ask questions, seek answers, and develop a deeper understanding of scientific principles.
It’s Fun-That is just as important as any other benefit. If you’re students aren’t having fun, they won’t learn. Do you remember any of your science activities when you were a kid? Unfortunately, I don’t. When I create my science lesson plans, I want my kids to remember these activities for years to come.
Dental Health Experiment
Most of my thematic units are science based units that tie with literacy and math. I know how hard it is to get science into your day. When you bring science to your reading time or small group instruction, you’re getting two things done at one time.
This experiment was a hit with my students. As a mom, I know how hard it is to teach dental health to my own kids. They don’t understand the long term effects of not taking care of your teeth. What better way to teach them than with this hands on experiment!
This experiment helps show my little learners the effect of sugar and acid to our teeth over time. An easy way to do this is with white eggs. The shell represents our teeth and our enamel.
I start with my students exploring the outside shell of the egg, and they draw a picture of what each egg looks like.
We talk about each liquid- sode, orange juice, vinegar and water. My students were on point with describing each drink. All but one contains sugar or acid.
We placed one egg in each cup and placed them on my counter in my classroom. I loved the curiosity my students had each day. They all rushed to the cups when they came to the room each day. We left our eggs in the cups probably a little too long, but this dental health experiment was still a success!
All of their predictions were pretty spot on! They were so surprised by the egg that sat in vinegar. We looked at that one last because I knew it would spark more conversations!
You can grab this experiment, along with my fun teeth model activity by clicking the link below!