Doing a Volcano Unit Study is a lot of fun!
A friend from Indiana, with her six children, came and stayed with me a few weeks ago. We taught our children this volcano unit study together. My five and her six, made 11 children all together in ages from 1 , 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13 , and 15. We had almost the same number of boys and girls.
To make the lesson plans, I combined materials from several of the sites listed below, and tweeked them to our family’s learning style to create my lesson plans. We covered science, history, math, language arts, reading, vocabulary, spelling, art, music, cooking, cultural diversity, bible, and current events.
I combined enough lessons, crafts, experiments, videos, books, and activities to genereate about 40 + hours of creative learning for my children. My goal was to work on the study two hours a day for 20 days. You can decide how much time you want to dedicate to this subject for your own family.
I gathered over 50 various worksheets, quizzes, crafts and more. I organized five different skill level packets of worksheets based on grade level and abilities. I broke my worksheets, books, activities and expectations, into these levels: Prek; K-1; 2-3; 4-6; and Highschool. I found a volcano science kit with experiments by Smithsonian, and it also had a complete lesson plan book in the kit. It covered history, science, and current events. I also added several more volcano experiments to do from home with supplies around the house.
I also prepared file folders to store our worksheets as we completed them. When we were finished, we made lapbooks out of the file folders and completed worksheets to record our learning adventure. I would suggest that you plan to either lapbook or notebook your Volcano Unit Study learning adventure.
Here is a picture of one of the older students helping me organize our worksheet packets.
We sorted them by skill level and paper clipped them together, before storing them in our file folders.
You can create a simple Volcano Unit Study for your children, too. Use the links I have posted below to create a fun volcano learning adventure.
Putting this unit study together, took approximately 5 hours for me to research, write my lesson plans, print off worksheets, and locate my supplies and several books to read with the children. The Homeschool Share link actually has a 10 day study already pre-planned for you. Or you can tweek things as I did, for a longer more involved adventure.
However, there are several pre-made unit studies on volcanoes you can buy, and one great company I would definitely recommend if you wanted to buy one from is Hands Of A Child. They have a downloadable version listed on currclick.com or you can go to the HOAC website and buy the print copy and lapbook kit. We have used several of their products, they are so well made, and their volcano study looks great, though I chose this time to make my own.
Wow! We are really happy with the outcome of our homemade Volcano Unit Study and Volcano Lapbook project, and we all had lots of fun.
Here are the steps we used to create our Volcano Learning Adventure.
Ready To Use, covering various academic subject areas, use them as is, or adapt to make your own:
Homeschool Share has a 10 day lesson plan already made. Easy to follow. Lots of worksheets and templates.
Other Useful Virtual Tours, Pictures, Games, and Kid Learning Links About Volcanoes
Weather WizKids This is a great hands on learning site for more than just volcanoes. This is definitely a site to keep handy for lots of studies.
National Geographic Interactive Quiz about Volcanoes
Discovery Kids Volcano Explorer
Kids Geo Geology For Kids Volcanoes and Land Formation
Quiz from Enchanted Learning about Volcanoes
Interactive Volcano Lab Games and Activities from Scholastic
Book Reading List
Start with what books you may have at home first. For example, do you have a small reading library where you might have story books for kids. Check to see if any of them are about volcanoes. If so, include them in your unit study. Also do you have an encyclopedia? If so, open to the section on volcanoes and include the information in your study. Many families have an encyclopedia on CD for the computer and this would be hand to use to.
Here are the books we had on hand:
Volcanoes Earth’s Power by David and Patricia Armentrout
I Can Read About Earthquakes and Volcanoes by Debora Merrians
Do You Feel Earth Moving? by Stephen M. Tomecek
Smithsonian Giant Volcano Guide Book
DK Eyewitness DVD Volcano
Videos, TV, Media
Volcano Live Films
Volcano Live Webcam
Volcano Photos and information about eruptions for the past several hundred years around the world.
Videos of Volcanic Eruptions
There are way too many videos to mention all of them. If you want to see more selection just google Youtube and type in volcano in the search box. If you want to use these I have listed, just pick three or four for your unit study. Some are specific to things like lava, or ash, or explosion and others can be specific to location like Itally or Hawaii etc.
Volcano Lava Flow
Scientists turning volcano rumblings into readable music to predict future eruptions.
Kind of silly but is the worlds largest baking soda volcano
Diego and Dora The Explorer-Volcano
Great VOLCANO Song, My 2nd grader loves it and can listen to it non-stop!
Another volcano song:
Volcano song and video
Lapbook and Notebooking Worksheets, Minibooks, and Projects
A lapbook is basically a simple scrapbook made out of a file folder and it holds the “memories” of your learning adventure.
Any notes you keep, words you practice, graphs, worksheets you do, or pictures of the crafts and experiments you make, can be added into your “book”. You can also make mini-books and shape books to include inside your lapbooks or notebooks or binders.
Here are some pictures of us making our volcano lapbooks:
If you are new to lapbooking, here are some really nice sites to learn about them.
How to Lapbook
Jimmie a homeschool mom of one and world traveler writes really great info: http://www.squidoo.com/lapbooking
Lapbook Lessons has great how too’s, videos, templates,
and free lapbooks http://lapbooklessons.com/
The links below will take you to several Worksheets and Mini-book activities we used in our unit study and lapbooks . You may want to choose a few for the skill level of your child. Since our volcano unit study and lapbooks was specific for our group with kids in prek-highschool, it took a range of different levels of worksheets to meet our needs.
The first place to look for free Lapbook worksheets is from Homeschool Share. They had over 25 lapbook activities on volcanoes to use for free. This is where most of our lapbook activities came from. Then we added additional ones listed below.
lable the tectonic plates
Plates and Mantle Convection
Enchanted learning has lots of worksheets
ABCTeach worksheets and activities
Mini book by Crayola
Preschool Volcano worksheets from first school
Very Cute Preschool Letter V mini book (2 links)
V is for Volcano writing practice and coloring page
letter V v coloring page
Volcano coloring page and writing practice
Also for our preschool-k lapbooks we did a volcano erruption count down. Take an envelope and cut it in half. Glue or tape envelope inside lapbook. Cut out eleven squares of construction paper to lable with numbers 0-10 and place them in the envelope. Help your child count backwards from 10 to the big explosion.
Here are more pictures of the lapbooks created by the older students. They had an additional packet of research documents and writing assignments to enhance their skills. They created a research section in their lapbook and stapled these additional worksheets there.
Science Experiments and Crafts
I bought a Smithsonian Volcano Experiment Kit. It involved building a plaster volcano one day and letting it dry 24 hours before doing the experiments. We placed the volcano over newspapers and a cookie sheet and went outside to make our explosions. This kit came with colored tablets that you add to club soda inside the volcano. After doing the experiments with the kit, we made made additional erruptions happen in plastic bottles with baking soda and vinegar, and in plastic cups. We also tried the soda and mentos experiment. The children discussed which method made the biggest erruptions and which ones they liked the best. Each child was able to perform an experiment. We had lots of fun on this hot sunny day.
Build a Baking Soda Volcano
Another Nice Baking Soda Volcano
Lots of Experiments and Lesson Plans to learn about Lava Flow, Viscocity, Angle Of Response, and more.
Experiments Demonstrating Tetonic Plates
Tetonic Plates Puzzle
Create a Salt Dough map of a volcano and the state or surrounding area it is in:
Terrific Homeschool Video of a homemade volcano
Video of Coke and Mentos Volcano Experiment
Another good demonstration on how to make a small volcano with simple household items.
Volcano Paper Craft from Crayola
Other Fun Craft and Experiment Ideas To Enhance You Volcano Unit Study:
*Have the children compare a piece of pumice or lava rock to other kinds of rocks. Have them describe it. Then conduct experiments with it, such as hit with a hammar to determine hardness, do a scratch test, etc. Have the children graph their results and comparisions with other rocks.
*Have the children use different items such as pancake or cake batter, peanut butter, molasses, colored water, and other items and race them down a large piece of cardboard. Predict which will flow the fastest and farthest. Graph your results.
*Make a Playdough Volcano. Give the children various playdough colors and allow them to build their own volcanoes.
*Build a volcano scene using Legos.
*Make a Diarama of Volcano or of a story you read together about a volcano. Include the use of various items from around the house such as left over paper tubes, egg cartons, bottles, bags, used paper, sticks, etc. Make it a recycling art project as well as a story project.
*Make a paper mache volcano
*Make a volcano piñata
*Tear lots of paper into small pieces and have the children glue them onto a sheet of paper to make a mosaic volcano picture.
*Have the children write and illustrate a short story or story book about a volcano.
*Have the children make a bar of soap with a soap kit, using pumice (lava rock) for its cleansing properties.
These are my own food creations. I plan yet to make a few more including A Blast Off Sandwich; Volcanic Apple Pie; and Lava Brownies. I will go back and post these later.
Including theme related treats make the learning extra fun and help create an additional way kids will remember the unit study, because you are involving their sense of taste as well. Cooking also involves several learning subjects such as math, science, reading, and life skills.
Erruption Spagetti Dinner
Brown 2 lbs of ground beef.
Make 2 lb Spagetti noodles according to package. When done, layer them into a greased bundt baking pan. Press lightly. You can use a large bundt pan or mini bundt pans.
In a separate pan stir in 2 x 24 oz jars of spegetti sauce and bring to a gentle boil.
Dump the bundt pan of noodles onto a pie plate. Laddle the hot sauce into the center of the noodle ring allow some of the sauce to gently flow over the sides of your noodle ring and onto the bottom of the pie plate.
Gently sprinkle the cooked ground beef in rows coming down the ring and pile some into the center. Make it look like a volcano the best you can. You can sprinkle some grated parmesian cheese on for added effects of ashe or smoke. After you have showcased your creation, cut with a knife like a slice of cake and serve.
Volcano Carmel Apple Waffles or Bagles
Frozen Waffles or Bagles
Nutbutter (peanut, cashew, almond, or sunflower, or chocolate marshmellow cream if you are allergic to nuts will work, you just need a sticky substance to hold the apples in place).
Chocolate chips and/ nuts/ seeds.
Assemble toasted waffles or bagles, nutbutter, sliced apples, in a mound like a mountain and leave a whole in the middle. Fill the hole with carmel and drizzle the carmel to look like lava down the sides of the mountain. Then add the whipped cream to look like smoke. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and or cashews if desired to resemble rocks that blast out of the hole.
Volcano Muffins or Cupcakes
Make Chocolate cupcakes according to a box or recipie. You can also use a brownie recipe for this.
Make a small hole using an apple corer. Use chocolate or carmel icing to cover your mountain. Use red frosting (vanilla with red food coloring) to make your hot lava flow from the hole over the sides. Or fill the hole with hot fudge or pudding and then make the lava flow extend from the hole.
Upside Down Mini Volcano Icecream Sundaes
Place icecream in muffin tins or bowls to re-freeze. Great flavors for this might be chocolate, chocolate chocolate chip, capacino, etc. But you can use any flavor and colors you want.
Once they are frozen hard dump them upside down on a plate or bowl. Decorate with carmel sauce for lava , hot fudge, strawberry sauce, chocolate chips, cookie crumbs, nuts, and other toppings to create a fun sundae.
Volcano Aftermath Cake
Make cake batter according to directions. Bake part of mix in a small budnt pan. Bake the rest of the batter in a cake pan. When baked and cooled, place the small cake off to one side, but on top of large cake. Use your choice of icing to cover both cakes( chocolate, carmel, pecan, vanilla tinted green or grey, etc.) Create an erupted volcano scene. Use pretzel sticks to represent burned and destroyed forests. Use upside down peanut butter cups for bolders. Use vanilla frosting colored red or orange to represent lava flowing out of the hole and down the mountain. If your volcano is near the ocean, tint some icing with blue to create the water. Use your imagination to create your scene. You can even use a sparkling birthday candle to temporarily make a “real spark” coming out of the top of your cake.
Eat and enjoy.
Have the children copy these verses onto note cards or into their note books. Practice them. If on note cards, make a pocket to store them in your lapbooks.
Micah 1:4 (Contemporary English Version)
Mountains will melt beneath his feet like wax beside a fire.
Valleys will vanish like water rushing down a ravine.
Exodus 19:18 (Contemporary English Version)
Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the LORD had come down in a flaming fire. Smoke poured out of the mountain just like a furnace, and the whole mountain shook.
Field Trips and virtual field trips
If you can take a trip to see an active or dormant volcano. It is a memory you and the kids will never forget.
Places you might include:
Mount Saint Helen’s in Washington, USA.
I visited there in 1992 and it was breathtaking. The destruction the volcano caused was increadible.
Several Volcanoes on the Hawaii Islands, USA
I visited there in 1979 and it was the most beautiful and scary thing I have ever seen. To see the lava glowing red and feel the heat from far away was amazing. I swam and played at the beach where there was cooled lava as far as the eye could see. It looked like rock, but felt different to the touch. I also had the privilege to visit a crater and see it first hand.
If you plan to visit Hawaii, the folks of this site offer helicopter rides over the volcanoes. Last I checked , they offered a sale price of $165 a person. I am afraid of heights so this special helicopter trip is not for me. But just a side note, I did go to Hawaii in 1979 and I saw several volcanoes, I got to climb to a crater of a volcano up close, and climbed on the cooled lava flows on the beach. It is an experience I will never forget.
Or if you are able, take a trip out of the country to see volcanoes from a different country and culture.
If you can’t actually go to see a volcano, try a virtual field trip online. Or visit a local museum to learn about volcanoes, rocks, the earths core, volcanoes under the ocean, and volcanoes on other planets in outer space. This is our method of choice this year. We won’t be able to travel to any volcanoes, but plan to take virtual field trips and go on outings to museums to learn as much as we can.