Investigating Teeth

Age Range: 7 - 11
By: Jane Leo

Investigating Teeth

This resource is part of a unit I taught on teeth for a Year 3 class (fits with part of QCA Science Unit 3A). After I had used it and modified it, the other Year 3 class used it and the teacher said it was the best lesson she had done for years - so it comes highly recommended. The format of the lesson is as follows:


3 group circus (class spilt into 3 groups, with 3 investigation areas and the groups move around all 3 activities).


  • As much adult help as possible. Three adults would be ideal - if there is only one, 2 adults then work on investigations 2 & 3 - if only 1 adult then work on investigation 2
  • Investigation 1
    • Copies of key sheet.
    • Coloured pencils.
    • Books / access to IT resource.
    • Model of tooth cross section (foam ones available as jigsaws which the children loved).
    • Support with understanding key, finding info, colour coding.
  • Investigation 2
    • Sterilised egg shells
    • Clear vinegar, coca-cola, fruit squash, water,
    • Containers with wide openings that allow children to see and the adult to lift out the samples,
    • Plastic gloves for the adult,
    • Paper towels to put samples on,
    • Tweezers for lifting out samples (plastic are best)
  • Investigation 3
    • Copies of key sheet
    • Coloured pencils
    • Books/access to IT resource
    • Models of inside of mouth - ask your dentist or, if you've had a crown you may have one already)

All necessary resource sheets have been provided by Jane, and can be found below.


About two days before, put a whole egg in a jar of clear vinegar - show the children the egg, explain that the shell is similar to the coating on their teeth, only their tooth enamel is much thicker. Monitor it over the two days - it should produce a scummy froth on the top of the vinegar and the shell will dissolve, leaving the inner skin of the egg. They do like to touch this, but they should wash their hands afterwards.

The day before put the eggshell in coca-cola, fruit squash and water. Find appropriate books / IT resources, and models if required. Also laminate the key sheets.

On the day each child needs a copy of the booklet - I copied them on to A3 paper to make a four sided booklet, a bit fiddly but the children liked them - and a pencil.


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Thank you so much! These investigations are just what I needed to help teach my daughter about teeth!