Rosalie's Neighborhood: Let's Smile! A Book about Dental Health
Rosalie’s Neighborhood, Let’s Smile: A Book about Dental Health, is a parent awareness health literacy unit that provides essential oral health care information for parents of young children. The book is written at a 4th grade reading level so that parents with limited literacy skills can read and understand vital information for providing home and professional preventive and emergency health care for children. The curriculum will help parents improve their reading skills as well as learn more about dental health care for their children. The curriculum also includes a Facilitator's Guide and a Readers Theater script.
Rosalie’s Neighborhood features an 8-chapter booklet with appropriate size print, short chapters, plenty of white space, Word Wall and Health Log, list of children's books that pertain to a specific chapter, final pages with reference information, and illustrative photographs throughout. These instructional materials tell a story of a group of neighbors who are learning from each other about important aspects of dental health for children, including caring for an infant’s teeth and visiting the dentist for routine care, as well as for dental emergencies. Each chapter features key vocabulary to discuss before reading. In addition, there is a supplementary readers’ theater script that can be used to accompany the text. The supplemental readers’ theater scripts give learners the opportunity to deepen their understanding while developing their reading fluency. Each chapter also includes activities appropriate for different age children that parents can take home.
The resource could be used to develop reading, writing, and listening skills through a health context and/or as a way to develop health literacy related to the dental health. It might be interesting to consider how and when in the year this topic could be highlighted −for example, as part of a dental education outreach program in cooperation with a local clinic or National Dental Health Month (February). The resource may be used by healthcare practitioners, health educators, child educators interested in promoting dental health for children, their parents, and caregivers.
The Facilitator’s Guide has a section on before, during, and after reading instructional techniques; brief description on simple ways to adapt the materials for beginning and advanced readers and ESL adult learners; detailed descriptions on how to present and move through each chapter; children’s booklist with pictures of the books; and, handouts that are ready to be photocopied for students. The website addresses in the publication are somewhat out-of-date and will require some searching. One caution is that, although it states in the Facilitator's Guide that it is written at about the fourth grade level (see page 4), students at that level would need a considerable amount of scaffolding − which is available through the resources provided.
The guide also offer ideas for how to adapt the materials for lower and higher level readers and for English learners, although more adaptations and support activities would be needed for lower level English learners. The appendices include copy-ready visual aids and student handouts and additional resources that can be used to extend learning in the classroom as well as at home. For example, the glossary of terms is a useful resource for vocabulary instruction, and the crossword puzzles and word searches offer the opportunity for students to check their comprehension of new words.