Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Run your tongue along with your teeth. Does it feel furry? Or is it squeaky clean? Does this change over the day? What is happening inside my mouth to create this furry feeling? This lesson takes a close look at the effects of sugar on the mouth. The students discover the super brushers and reluctant flossers, as they take a closer look at dental hygiene. Students undertake a mini-experiment looking at how calcium reacts when surrounded by acids. They explore the long-term effects of sugar, and whether there is a connection with teeth, the health of our organs, and the foods we consume.

Learning intentions:

  • Students find out that poor food choices can impact the health and quality of their teeth
  • Students understand that the choices they make can have a positive impact on future health.

21st century skills: 

  Problem FindingProblem Solving Social Skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Years 3 & 4 HPE:

  • Identify and practice strategies to promote health, safety, and wellbeing (ACPPS036).

  • Discuss and interpret health information and messages in the media and internet (ACPPS039)

Syllabus outcomes: PHS2.12, SLS2.13

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking 

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability, Indigenous Perspectives

Relevant parts of Year 3 & 4 HPE  achievement standards: 

Students interpret health messages and discuss the influences on healthy and safe choices. They understand the benefits of being healthy and physically active. They describe the connections they have to their community and identify local resources to support their health, wellbeing, safety and physical activity. Students apply strategies for working cooperatively and apply rules fairly. They use decision-making and problem-solving skills to select and demonstrate strategies that help them stay safe, healthy and active. 

Topic: Health and Wellbeing 

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work Sugar By Half.

Time required: 60 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium, to support student learning and lead lesson discussions.

Resources required:

  • A device capable of creating audiovisual recordings, such as an iPad, computer, or camera
  • Food items: fresh eggs (2 dozen), 4L of vinegar, or a large bottle of cola (quantity will depend on whether you decide to conduct this as an individual or group activity) 
  • Pencils, markers, A3 poster paper 
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student.
  • Teeth Brushing Line slips – printed

Keywords: human body, teeth, mouth, sugar, personal care, health and wellbeing.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • … understand how sugar affects our bodies
  • … discover that poor food choices can damage our teeth
  • … understand that the choices and decisions we make can have positive impacts on future health.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • ... describe how toothbrushing is a part of dental hygiene
  • ... make suggestions about the various ways to improve dental hygiene
  • ... describe the effect of sugar on the calcium in our teeth
  • ... discuss the effects of sugar on health.

Teacher preparation: Before conducting each lesson, ensure you have read through the Filter Your Future Powerpoint presentation to guide you through the relevant messages about sugar and the kidneys to facilitate teacher and student learning about how sugar affects health and a vital organ —  the kidneys. Read and print the Filter Your Future Education Project Poster and refer to the facts throughout the lesson/s.

Teacher content information:
Young p

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Student Worksheet

Thought-starter: An apple a day keeps the dentist away…

1. Printout slips for the Teeth Brushing Line slips 

Used for the ‘teeth brushing line’ interactive activity, to help define the areas.

Cut up the sheet to place on the floor to help organise the students along the line in different areas.


 I never brush my teeth - not unless I’m made to.


 I brush once a day (usually in the morning!)
 I brush once a day, (usually at night).


 I brush both morning and night every day! Without being asked!!

 And I floss, like a professional dentist!

2. Student Worksheet: P.O.E - Sugar in our mouth
What do eggs and teeth have in common?
Fill in each section as they complete the experiment.

 P- predict

 I think that….
 will happen


 O - observe

 I saw…. small….


 E - explain

 I can explain….



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