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PDF Files for PrintingLesson 6-Evaluate: What Have You Learned about the Mouth?



Exee waving from his spaceshipBy listening to a story in Lesson 6, students follow Exee home to planet Y. There, they see that Exee is trying to help friends understand the environment of the mouth, that mysterious hole in the heads of humans. Students help Exee by placing in sequential order cards that describe a day in the life of Mr. Tooth, who lives inside the mouth. When Exee's friends become sad that Mr. Tooth's day is bad, students make a new sequence that describes a good day for Mr. Tooth, thereby describing how to avoid decay. Students glue both sequences of cards onto paper that they can use to describe how to maintain good oral health.


In this lesson, students will


After completing this activity, students will


The Evaluate Lesson

As the Evaluate lesson for the curriculum supplement, Lesson 6 does not present any new information to the students. Instead, the lesson offers students the opportunity to express their understanding of the concepts in the supplement in a new context. As students share and compare their ideas with those of others, they can refine and revise them. As you listen to them reasoning out loud, you can assess their individual understanding of oral health.

Students who are used to assessments that have either a right or wrong answer may not be comfortable with the type of assessment in this lesson. As a teacher, you may not be used to probing for understanding or judging degrees of understanding along a continuum from incomplete to complete understanding. It helps if you ask questions designed to help students express their ideas. In this Evaluate lesson, students will sequence pictures that depict the process of tooth decay and those that depict ways that people can take care of their oral health. Questions that you might ask as you visit each of the students working on their sequence are the following:

Although it is time consuming, conduct individual interviews with students as they work on their sequence. Such interviews are the most effective strategy for assessing understanding. They also give students an opportunity to justify their picture placements and provide you with insight into their conceptions. In addition, you have the advantage of varying the assessment to correspond with the level of each student. Interviews are especially useful in helping you assess the understanding of quiet students who often are overshadowed by their teammates.

With interviews, you can probe beyond the pat answers or memorized phrases or terms. The interviews can be brief and informal as you circulate around the room, or they can be scheduled one-on-one during recess or another break time. You will find that it works well to combine an interview with the activity in this lesson; the pictures serve as manipulatives that students can use to demonstrate what they understand.

Authentic Assessment

This lesson is not the only opportunity you have had to assess your students' progress. As noted in each of the previous lessons, assessments have gone hand in hand with instruction throughout the curriculum supplement. Whenever individual students expressed themselves by talking, writing, drawing, or performing tasks, you have had an opportunity to assess their thinking and thus their learning. The assessment tasks are embedded within the lessons and offer you the opportunity to:

For example, the Mouth Journal is a useful diagnostic and evaluative tool that you can use for assessment. A student's journal is a permanent and continual record of what the student is learning and thinking. By reading the journals regularly, you can identify students who need extra help as well as those who might have special knowledge to share with the class. As a summative evaluation tool, the entries in the journals can be compared with the outcomes for each lesson to see how many of the outcomes are expressed in writing or drawing in the journals. In addition, the journals provide one method of keeping parents and guardians informed of student progress with tangible representations of learning.

The approach to assessment in this supplement is congruent with the following recommendations in the National Science Education Standards.1


Activities that include the Web site
Activity Number Web Version
Activity 1 optional

Activity Number Master Number Number of Copies
Activity 1 Master 6.1, A Bad Day for Mr. Tooth Template Page 1 copy for each student
Master 6.2, A Bad Day for Mr. Tooth Pictures 1 copy for each student
Master 6.3, A Good Day for Mr. Tooth Template Page 1 copy for each student
Master 6.4, A Good Day for Mr. Tooth Pictures 1 copy for each student

Activity 1
For each student:
  • 1 copy of Master 6.1, A Bad Day for Mr. Tooth Template Page
  • 1 copy of Master 6.2, A Bad Day for Mr. Tooth Pictures
  • 1 copy of Master 6.3, A Good Day for Mr. Tooth Template Page
  • 1 copy of Master 6.4, A Good Day for Mr. Tooth Pictures
  • scissors
  • glue
  • crayons or markers
For teams of 2:
  • Web site address (optional)
  • computer with Internet access



Activity 1: Exee Goes Home

The purpose of this activity is to give students the opportunity to express their understanding of the process of tooth decay and the measures that can be taken to prevent dental disease.

1. Assemble the students in the group area and ask, What do you think happened to Exee?

Students will remember that Exee was a visitor to Earth from planet Y. Allow them to discuss what they think visitors to our planet might want to know. Help them recognize that Exee was interested in information to bring back to his planet. He was particularly curious about mouths, since he did not have one.

2. Tell the students that Exee decided to return to planet Y after learning all about the mouth and what happened inside it. Then, read to them a story about Exee's return to planet Y.

Home at Last

"Wow!" thought Exee. "What a neat planet Earth is. I loved all the different places I discovered, jungles and waterfalls, deserts and mountains, oceans and puddles. But, my favorite places were the little ones, like the places between human toes, and behind human ears, and inside human mouths. I can't wait to tell my friends on planet Y all about these new and different places."

So, Exee flew back to planet Y, going miles and miles across space. When Exee landed, all friends gathered for the homecoming. They were excited to see that Exee was safe and was home again after being gone such a long time. They also wanted to hear about all the new and different things on planet Earth.

Exee began telling them. He described everything so well that they could picture in their minds the tall mountains. They could almost hear the rushing water of the waterfalls. They believed they could feel the hot sun in the desert. But the mouth? Now, that was hard to imagine.

Exee's friends were very confused. Exee needed pictures to help him describe what the mouth was like and what happened inside it. He pulled out his photo album of the trip and opened it up. Suddenly, a burst of wind on planet Y blew all his photos onto the ground in a jumbled mess. Exee needed help!

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