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Create an erupting volcano! Magnets and a cookie sheet add to the reality of this 3-D project.
Using world maps, invite students to locate active volcanoes, those that erupted recently, and dormant volcanoes. Find which ones are mountains, islands, or other land forms. Challenge students to find before and after photos.
Working in small groups, students research information about the earth and how volcanoes erupt. Encourage the use of appropriate vocabulary for the lesson, such as magma, layers of the earth, etc. Students organize their research into a presentation for classmates. This can take the form of a PowerPoint presentation, poster, or some other format selected by members of the group.
Once student groups have shared their presentations, provide each child with a sheet of white paper and Crayola® Colored Pencils. To assess their understanding of the organization of the Earth's layers, ask students to draw and label a cross section of the earth showing its three layers.
Re-organized in groups, students draw a volcanic mountain or island on white poster board. Use Crayola Washable Markers to color the mountain.
Draw the lava, steam, and gas cloud on another piece of white posterboard. Use markers to color the eruption. With Crayola Scissors, cut out all parts of the volcano. Cut a slit in the top of the mountain so that the lava and gas cloud can fit into it.
Students tape a small, flat magnet to the back of each volcano part. Insert the gas cloud into the volcano and attach both parts to a metal cookie sheet or tray. Place a larger magnet (groups may need more than one) on the back side of the cookie sheet behind the cloud. Groups practice moving this magnet to create the effect of a volcanic eruption.
Groups members discuss the effects of living near an active volcano. What challenges would you face in such an area? Are there special precautions to take? How would an eruption effect living organisms other than humans?
What’s inside the crater of an active volcano? Bubbling red magma. Show molten lava flowing from a "fire mountain" that
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