Teaching the Science of a Volcano - A Great Science Lesson


Thanks to Scott @ www.mytopten.com.au

Teaching children the science of a volcano is exciting, hands-on and an all-round learning experience if done well. Here is a lesson that should help you to engage your children in science a bit more!


Visit the Discovery Channels - Explore a Virtual Volcano

You will be able to talk and discuss the Tectonic Plates and the global perspective of volcanoes in our societies. You can also diverge the different types of volcanoes that are across the globe. Once done, you should then look inside the volcano and have a look at all of its parts. The final part of the introduction would be to have the children to create their own virtual volcano, where they can look at the different results of increasing gas and viscosity.

If you would like to continue looking at the volcano online you can also visit National Geographic's Forces of Nature.


Have the children research a particular volcano online. You can use eMINTs to access some great resources as well.

Now for the fun part!!!

Have the children create a model of the volcano. You can either use paper mache or play dough. Play dough seems to work much better, as you can sculpt channels for the lava to flow down. Click here for an indepth method of creating a model volcano.

The model building may take a couple of days, so be patient while this occurs. Once the children have completed their model they should place in trees and structures that may normally be affected by the volcano. To be completely finished this task, all children should have the parts of the volcano clearly labelled for everyone to see.


Have children place the bi-carbonate into the vinegar, etc and watch the eruption of the volcano. As the children are doing this, prompt them with questions such as... "what would be happening to the pressure under the surface?" "What is the viscosity of the lava?"