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?"

Teaching Cause and Effect Through Film and Text

Thanks to Scott @ mytopten.com.au

Teaching Cause and Effect can be an interesting thing to address and shows children that in life and in stories, every effect has a cause. You can start to talk to the children about out in the yard...

Things such as when you kick a ball and it bounces away is a cause/effect relationship. Another one might be when someone gets angry in the yard because someone threw a rock at them is also a cause/effect relationship.

As you progress through the slideshow on cause and effect, you will notice that the children will be engaged by the movies and the cause/effect relationships within them. It is important that we as teachers, point out these relationships from an authors view and then discuss the needs of us as readers. As authors we need to address our readers' needs by challenging them to make sense of the actions of characters.

As a follow up activity, I suggest that you get an A3 piece of paper and divide in half (Lengthways) and make two columns called 'Cause' and the other 'Effect'. The children should then use these pieces of paper to review cause/effect relationships within their own novels. They can then get a picture off the net to decorate the back of the paper and hang them around the room. You will find lots of children will then refer to these to make sense of these texts if they are reading them at a later date.