Healthy snacks include fresh or dried fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, rice cakes with low-fat cream cheese, homemade popcorn or chopped vegetables with hummus. A healthy packed lunch might include a brown or wholemeal bread sandwich containing eggs, meat, fish or cheese, a piece of fresh fruit, a low-sugar yoghurt, rice cake or popcorn and a drink, such as water or semi-skimmed milk.
To build this knowledge children: Adapt popular recipes to make healthier snack options. Make vegetable wedges instead of chips and sugar free cakes sweetened with fruit. Put the foods to the test, describing how they taste and which they prefer. Use the web and cooking magazines collected from home to search for appropriate recipes and vote on the ones they would like to make.
Make snack packs containing healthy options that support digestive health and sell them at the school tuck shop or at a pop up shop. Use a range of ingredients to fill small snack bags in interesting combinations. Use a spreadsheet to cost out their ingredients and calculate a cost effective selling price per bag. Decide whether they want to be a profit-making enterprise or a cost recovery health campaign.
A comparison table can be used to compare products by listing specific criteria on which each product can be judged or scored.
To build this knowledge children: Find out which foods contain the most sugar by studying packaging and labels. Focus in particular on foods sold as healthier options. Discuss their intake of sugary food and drink, suggesting tooth friendly alternatives. Children look at the foods that they have in their packed lunches or school dinners. Some of the results may shock them. Explain that bacteria in our mouths like to feed on deposited sugars on our teeth. As they feed they produce an acid which erodes the tooth’s surface eventually leading to cavities and decay.
Different materials and components have a range of properties, making them suitable for different tasks. It is important to select the correct material or component for the specific purpose, depending on the design criteria. Recipe ingredients have different tastes and appearances. They look and taste better and are cheaper when in season.
To build this knowledge children: Model how the digestive system produces poo. Start with a basic meal, such as tinned spaghetti on toast. Blend or mash the meal with a bit of water and detergent (saliva) to recreate the action of chewing. When pulpy, add half a cup of vinegar (stomach acid) and blend again. Add a dash of red, green and yellow food colouring (bile), blend to mix, then add the entire contents to one leg of a pair of tights which has a small hole cut in the end. Squish and squeeze the contents to allow water to pass through the mesh. Squeeze the remaining undigested material through the small hole (anus). How realistic is the poo? Ask the children to consider what happens to the system when a person is constipated or has diarrhoea.
Make a wearable digestive system. Working in pairs or small groups, use a black marker pen to draw a complete digestive system on a white apron or large white T-shirt. Add colour and texture using fabric paints, stitching techniques, wadding, textile pens and embellishments to make the organs of the digestive system look realistic. This activity could also be done using a cardboard box with holes for the wearer’s head and arms.
Regular teeth brushing, limiting sugary foods and visiting the dentist are important for good oral hygiene.
To build this knowledge children: Visit a local dental surgery to meet the staff and talk to them about their work. Look at a range of model and real teeth and listen to the experts talking about different dental procedures. Having prepared questions in class, encourage the children to ask their questions and make simple jottings and notes to remember any important facts and information. Select leaflets and flyers from the surgery to take back to school to read later.
Alert the children to listen out for key vocabulary to sink their teeth into. Take part in a dental examination or tooth cleaning demonstration. Words like molar, incisor, canine, milk teeth, decay, floss, enamel, filling, gum, root, plaque, dentine, pulp and wisdom tooth will provide lots of research opportunities back in class.
Investigate the effects of different drinks on a tooth-like substance. Place individual eggs or eggshells into beakers containing a range of different liquids, including fruit juice, full sugar and sugar free fizzy drinks, milk, water and coffee or tea. Observe what happens over the course of the week, comparing the eggs from the different liquids and recording their findings in a photographic diary.
Eggshell and tooth enamel both contain calcium carbonate, which dissolves in acidic conditions. During the investigation, the eggshells may dissolve and break down, while others may become stained. Can any of these stains be removed by brushing with toothpaste?
There are four different types of teeth: incisors, canines, premolars and molars. Incisors are used for cutting. Canines are used for tearing. Premolars and molars are used for grinding and chewing. Carnivores, herbivores and omnivores have characteristic types of teeth. Herbivores have many large molars for grinding plant material. Carnivores have large canines for killing their prey and tearing meat.
To build this knowledge children: Use models and real examples of teeth to find out about the four main teeth types – incisors, canines, premolars and molars. Annotate diagrams of the four types, using labels and captions to describe the characteristic shape, size, parts and function of each one. Draw a cross-section of a tooth to show its different parts, including pulp, enamel, blood vessels, nerve and dentine.
Take dental impressions of their teeth by folding a small Styrofoam plate in half, placing the fold into the mouth and biting down hard. Label the top half ‘maxilla’ and the bottom half ‘mandible’. Identify the tooth types from the impressions and describe the characteristic patterns that they make. Compare their impressions with a partner’s and consider any similarities and differences. Ask a small number of children to leave a bite impression in a fudge-type sweet or chunk of cheese. Challenge the children to identify the biter using their Styrofoam impressions.
Think carefully about how different teeth help them to eat. Examine a range of foods and test to see which teeth are best suited for chopping, tearing and grinding. Record their results in a table and compare results. Provide an array of foods for the children to test, such as marshmallows, apples, biscuits, lettuce, bread, grapes, yoghurt and cooked chicken. Ask the children to describe the problems that they might encounter if they had no teeth at all.
Results are information, such as data or observations, that have been found out from an investigation. A conclusion is the answer to a question that uses the evidence collected.
To build this knowledge children: Use wall and dental mirrors to count their teeth, noting down tooth type, number and relative size. Find out how many of their teeth have been replaced with adult teeth. Use charts and graphs to display class data. Check the same data for a younger sibling or parent and describe how the results differ. Find out what other features can they see in their mouths, such as papillae on their tongues or the dangly uvula.
Children could find out about the code used by dentists during a dental check up and use this (or one that they have devised themselves) when counting their teeth. For example they might code a milk tooth as ‘M’, an adult tooth as ‘A’ and a gap as ‘G’.
Investigate how saliva starts the process of digestion. Chew a piece of cracker or banana, ensuring that the food is totally coated in saliva. Spit the food out onto a small paper plate. Now mash a similar sized piece of the same food with water to form a pulp, placing this on a second plate. Leave the samples overnight. Compare the samples in the morning and notice if they look (or smell) different. Saliva is full of digestive enzymes, including amylase (which breaks down starchy foods into simple sugars) and lipase (which breaks down fats). The foods that have been chewed will be sloppier, more broken down and may smell sweeter than the non-chewed foods.
Work in groups to handle and explore some of the organs of an animal’s digestive system, including tongue, oesophagus, stomach (tripe) and small and large intestine. Then use the web and other non-fiction resources to determine the function of each digestive organ using organs from a butcher or use anatomical models and video clips for the children to observe.
Know about dental health and the benefits of good oral hygiene and dental flossing, including regular check ups at the dentist.
To build this knowledge children: Investigate how effectively they brush their teeth. Bring in their toothbrushes and, after brushing, chew a plaque disclosing tablet and check how much coloured plaque remains. Brush their teeth again to remove the remaining plaque. Suggest how a partner could improve their brushing.
An observation involves looking closely at objects, materials and living things. Observations can be made regularly to identify changes over time.
To build this knowledge children: In groups, research and compare the digestive system of a human with that of either a cow, rabbit, lion, chicken, owl, snake, horse, fly, snail or koala. Notice key similarities and differences in size and the number of main organs. Report their discoveries to the class, giving reasons for the differences, particularly those relating to diet. These animals have very different digestive systems. For example, chickens have no teeth and therefore swallow small stones and grit that pass into the gizzard with the food they eat. Along with the muscular action of the gizzard, the stones grind down the food before it passes into the intestines.
Data can be recorded and displayed in different ways, including tables, charts, graphs, keys and labelled diagrams.
To build this knowledge children: Read The Story of the Little Mole who knew it was None of his Business by Werner Holzwarth. Talk about the characteristics of the different animals’ poo and then match pictures of animal poo to a picture card of an animal. Construct a classification key for the identification of an animal by its poo. Use simple ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions, such as ‘Is it brown? Does it contain fur? Is it wet or dry?’ As the children become more skilled in developing classification keys, they can increase the number of poos that they classify. This might also be an opportunity to talk about different words used for waste matter. Which ones might be used in a science laboratory, a doctor’s surgery or by their families at home?
Manipulating a range of text, images, sound or video clips and animation may include changing their style, size, colour, effect, shape, location or format.
To build this knowledge children: Upload an image of themselves with a big, toothy smile into a drawing software package. Use the tools to manipulate the images, discolouring and blacking out some of their teeth. Print the before and after images then discuss how the after images make them feel. Show the class real images of decayed teeth to help make their images look authentic. Discuss what might have caused the tooth decay shown in the real images.
Make a video to present their working digestive system model. Write a script, clearly and concisely describing each organ in the system and the key processes at work. Use the appropriate scientific terms wherever they can. Edit the video using simple editing software, such as Movie Maker. Encourage the children to allocate filming roles, such as director and sound engineer. Children could work in groups to edit the footage using their own ideas and skills. Hold a showcase event to view all the different films.
Digital technology can be used in different ways and settings to achieve a specific goal, such as using data collection in the community and home to answer a classroom-based question.
To build this knowledge children: Create a flow diagram (or algorithm) that illustrates the process of digestion from mouth to gut, showing the clear and sequential steps that eventually produce faeces. Before starting, ask the children to sort a series of cards, showing diagrams of the digestive organs or processes, into their correct order. These diagrams can then be used to inform their algorithms. Provide a list of key words for them to use.
Identifying the pitch and length of notes, observing rests and responding to dynamic marking, such as p or f will increase the accuracy, fluency, control and expression of a performance.
To build this knowledge children: Write a funny class song about bodily functions. Use a traditional tune, such as Pop Goes the Weasel, and fit new lyrics to the rhythm and tune. After writing their song, practise singing along and suggest sound effects to add to the fun. Make the song as funny as you like. The children are sure to remember any yucky or funny lyrics.
Confidently explain the meaning of individual words, using a dictionary to check unfamiliar words and selecting the most appropriate meaning for the context.
To develop this skill children: Use a dictionary to find out the meanings of various dental terms, including words heard during their visit and those given by the teacher. Make a dental glossary that can be used as part of a toothy fact file. Dentistry is full of technical words. Children could research specialist vocabulary, such as denture, bridge and crown, as well as the words suggested in the memorable experience. Provide examples of glossaries to consider how they are set out for easy use, including alphabetical ordering.
Retrieve and record information from age-appropriate fiction and non-fiction texts, deciding on an appropriate level of detail for their purpose.
To develop this skill children: Use a range of information sources, including the web, non-fiction materials and literature collected on their visit, to begin gathering facts about teeth. Record their facts in note form and share these with others in the group. Consider whether there are any discrepancies in their facts and check for accuracy. Have a look at examples of fact files on a range of subjects to find out what features to include and how they are set out.
Research information about the human digestive system using a number of non-fiction sources. Search the web for images, diagrams and information and collect notes and facts on a brainstorm sheet. Share their findings with others in the class to establish what fascinating facts they have learned since the start of the lesson. Read an excerpt of text to the children on the theme of digestion. Check their comprehension of the text by asking them to recall a fact from the text in their own words.
Retrieve and record information from age-appropriate fiction and non-fiction texts, deciding on an appropriate level of detail for their purpose.
Identify how language, structure and presentation contribute to meaning in a text, including imaginative or precise words and phrases.
To develop this skill children: Explore a variety of common, everyday idioms. Work in pairs to read a text, highlighting words and phrases that they think are examples of idioms. Some commonly used idioms include: ‘the writing’s on the wall’; ‘have a chip on your shoulder’; ‘jump the gun’; ‘at the drop of a hat’ and ‘sick as a dog’. For those needing extra support, these phrases could be included in simple sentences instead of longer or more complex text.
Find out what the word slogan means and how a slogan is used. Look at examples of slogans in everyday life and write down some examples of their own. Work in pairs to compile a list of ‘Fabulous features’ for slogan writing and share this with the group. ‘Fabulous features’ should include simplicity, rhyme, repetition, brevity, precision and humour – all in one single phrase or sentence, of course.
Identify and summarise the main ideas drawn from more than one paragraph in longer texts.
To develop this skill children: Investigate a selection of newspaper reports about dental and digestive health, including obesity. Work with a partner to spot and summarise the report’s main points. Identify the facts and opinions in the text.
Model ways of summarising information into simple sentences. Ask ‘What is the main point of this paragraph? How could we summarise it?’
Make increasingly detailed notes on a range of given planning formats, using similar writing to support with structure, vocabulary and grammar.
To develop this skill children: Work together as a whole group to think about what to include in a toothy fact file and how best to use it. For example, it might become a leaflet for display at the dental surgery and taken home by other children to read. Decide upon a target audience for their fact file. Make notes under their chosen headings and draft ideas for information they might include.
Imagine that they are a piece of food travelling through a digestive system. Work together to improve a fantasy story starter that will grab the reader’s attention. Use a story map (shaped like the human digestive system) to plan their fantasy stories and describe what happens to them at each part of the journey. A good opening sentence might be, ‘Into the dark, the moist tongue rolls me from side to side, teeth chomping, tearing me apart’. Can they improve the opening? What might happen next? Give the children their digestive system shaped story map to help them remember the stages that they will travel through.
Begin planning a persuasive text that encourages readers to be more proactive about dental and digestive hygiene. Form a plan, using a persuasive writing features map. Recap on features of persuasive writing, such as a powerful opening sentence (‘Put simply – sugar rots teeth.’), use of present tense, logical conjunctions, emotional language, rhetorical questions and conditional sentences (‘The more sugar you eat, the more fillings you will need’).
Use a range of organisational devices effectively to structure non-narrative writing.
To develop this skill children: Complete their fact files, making them attractive and easy to read. Use coloured pens for headings and key words, or use word processing software to present their writing using different font types, sizes and images for interest and emphasis. Ask children to pair up to check each other's work, correcting any grammatical and spelling errors. Invite the dentist into school to see examples of the children’s finished work, or send them via post or email for their comments.
Make some choices about vocabulary and sentence structure.
To develop this skill children: Explain the meanings of tooth related idioms in precise and clear sentences. Use stopping points in the lesson to read an explanation aloud to others and see if they can guess which idiom is being explained.
Work as a class to identify a list of idioms for use in a written explanation entitled ‘Tooth decay’. Use the agreed list to start drafting a short paragraph. Remember that excessive use of idioms will overwhelm their reader, but a well placed idiom in their writing can be the key phrase or concept that their reader remembers. You could provide children with a list of appropriate idioms to use in their writing, as well as encouraging them to use their own examples and ideas. Some suggested idioms with which to challenge them might be ‘against the clock’; ‘a piece of cake’; ‘go the extra mile’; ‘hit the sack’; ‘keep an eye on it’; ‘last but not least’; ‘pig out’; ‘rule of thumb’ and ‘you are what you eat’.
Begin to draft ideas for a slogan to display in children’s toilets to remind them of ways to keep their bowels happy and healthy. Explain to an adult their intentions and experiment with different options.
Assess the effectiveness of their own and others’ writing, suggesting and making changes to grammar and vocabulary to improve consistency.
To develop this skill children: Work with a writing partner to develop their ideas and stories. Read aloud as they write to make sure that their narrative makes sense and that sentences are varied and describe the dramatic events as they travel through the system. Use dictionaries and a thesaurus, including online versions, to find exciting or scientific verbs and nouns, such as ‘masticate’, ‘bolus’ or ‘peristalsis’ to describe the different processes taking place. Begin this lesson by acting out the digestive system. Choose one child to be the food and ask them to walk along a ‘corridor’ of the human digestive tract. Groups of children can represent the different organs involved in digestion and act out the processes that occur. For example ‘First we have the mouth: as the tongue rolls and the teeth chew, the food is coated in saliva and forms a bolus, which is pushed to the back of the mouth’.
Develop their work to include one or more examples of rhetorical questions and conditional sentences. Contribute to discussions and suggest their own. Discuss their ideas with a writing partner to see if they work. Share examples of effective plans and highlight how the examples chosen use the important features.
Proofread to check for errors in spelling, grammar, vocabulary and punctuation, noticing and acting on an increasing range of errors.
To develop this skill children: Read through their narratives, ensuring that they have used the correct scientific vocabulary as appropriate. Write a neat presentation copy of their story inside the shape of a human form, using their imagination to set out their writing creatively. Children could write their narrative inside a scientific diagram, from mouth to rectum.
Complete their persuasive texts, using a checklist to make sure that all essential features are included. Read through their work, checking for any grammatical errors, then write up their final account using ICT. Use downloaded images to illustrate their work. For an extra challenge, children could create an advertising campaign, taking responsibility for different elements. Children could read their work to parents and carers and ask the questions ‘What did you learn after reading my work?’ and ‘Have I persuaded you to do anything differently?’
English Spoken Language
Ask a series of questions to speculate, imagine and explore ideas.
To develop this skill children: Learn about idioms. Look at some simple examples and decipher their real meaning. Work in small groups to discuss and decipher some tooth related examples, then explain what they think they mean to the whole group. An idiom is a word or phrase that is not meant literally, such as ‘raining cats and dogs’. There are many tooth related idioms, including ‘a kick in the teeth’, ‘as scarce as hen’s teeth’, ‘cut your teeth’, ‘get the bit between your teeth’, ‘like pulling teeth’, ‘lie through your teeth’ and ‘fed up to the back teeth’. Alternatively, children could match definition cards to the phrases presented, for example, ‘This idiom means that something is very rare. What is it?’
Use expression and intonation to emphasise grammar, punctuation or character when reading or speaking aloud.
To develop this skill children: Read their explanations aloud to the group, asking others to raise a hand when they hear an idiom. Evaluate their own and others’ work, with particular reference to whether the idioms made sense and were used in the correct context. Ask the children to listen out for idioms used in every day life and report back if they hear any idioms being used at home.
Complete their slogans and share them with others. Welcome suggestions for improvements and amend their slogans as necessary. Combine their slogan into a poster format using ICT or drawn illustrations, then record as a jingle suitable for a radio or television advertising campaign. Listen back to their recorded slogans.
Play sample TV and radio adverts to the children and ask them to analyse key features before recording a ‘happy bowel’ advertising slogan. Slogans could be set to music or to accompany a presentation about keeping a bowel happy and healthy.
You may need to select the images for children to use.
Listen and respond appropriately to the instructions, contributions or viewpoints of others.
To develop this skill children: Watch an animation, film clip or demonstration model to see the digestive system at work. Listen carefully to the accounts and information given and, as a class, share the facts that they remember. Use a shared writing process to create a class flow chart of the digestive system, naming the processes taking place at different stages. Identify knowledge gaps and make a note of these for further research. Display key words needed to describe the digestive system, such as large and small intestine, absorbed, swallowed, saliva, acid, abdomen, bile, colon and oesophagus. There are many more words to discover in scientific dictionaries.
Respond appropriately to others and make some extended contributions in formal and informal discussions.
To develop this skill children: Watch a presentation or animation about the importance of a healthy bowel. Discuss what they have heard and recap on the most important points. Talk about and explain why some people find it an embarrassing subject. Work in pairs to compose a short explanation of why it’s important to have a healthy bowel.
Challenge opinions and points of view, offering an alternative viewpoint or opinion.
To develop this skill children: Discuss and reflect upon ways in which the general public could change their eating habits to improve the health of their teeth and digestive systems. Identify some key health problems facing our society and explain what could be changed to improve the health of the nation. Encourage the children to reflect back on what constitutes poor dental and digestive health and hygiene. Encourage all children to make a contribution to the conversation, drawing on their learning and observations during the project.