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Melted Minerals

Volcanic eruptions invite exploration of the Earth’s interior. This colorful exhibit is perfect for a science fair project or classroom display.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Around the world, there are approximately 1,500 active volcanoes. Invite studednts to share what they already know about volcanoes. Then have them make a class list of what they would still like to know about these mountains.
    2. Organize students into small groups and provide them with text resources as well as teacher-selected Internet web sites that will aid them in their quest to find out more about volcanoes.
    3. Students will use their research to construct a cut-away view of an active volcano. With Crayola® Scissors, students cut out a volcano mountain shape from recycled cardboard.
    4. Illustrate the inside of the volcano with Crayola Gel Markers. Use different colors to represent areas such as magma pools, central vent, sill, chambers, and earth plates. Color-code these on the cardboard or on a base of cardboard or oaktag.
    5. Crumble recycled newspaper into boulder shapes. Cover with masking tape. Pile and attach these boulders behind the cardboard cutout to form the back slope of the volcano mountain.
    6. Roll out Crayola Model Magic. Cover the taped newspaper armature with a layer of Model Magic. Use Crayola School Glue to reinforce any connections between Model Magic and the paper. Air-dry the mountain overnight.
    7. Create colored modeling material for the outside of your volcano by blending white Model Magic with color from a Crayola Gel Marker. Roll into snakes and cover the mountainside. Leave cracks for fissures and secondary vents. Apply modeling material in thumbprint sizes to add texture and dimension to the figure. Air-dry the construction overnight.
    8. Glue volcano to its labeled base. Air-dry before displaying.
    9. While waiting for the Model Magic to dry, students compose a summary paragraph discussing their new learning about volcanoes. Post writing with models in a school hallway.
  • Standards

    LA: Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

    LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    LA: Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Solve problems involving measurement and conversion of measurements from a larger unit to a smaller unit.

    SCI: Obtain and share information on the role of the ocean in supporting a variety of ecosystems and organisms, shaping landforms, and influencing climate.

    SCI: Construct models to describe weather and climate patterns which are produced by the interactions among the atmosphere, the ocean, and landforms.

    SCI: Obtain and communicate information that water exists in different forms within natural landscapes and determines the variety of life forms that can live there.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Volcanoes! by Anne Schreiber; The Best Book of Volcanoes by Simon Adams; Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mount St. Helens by Patricia Lauber; Mount St Helens: The Eruption and Recovery of a Volcano by Rob Carson; Volcano!: The Icelandic Eruption of 2010 and Other Hot, Smoky, Fierce, and Fiery Mountains by Judith Fradin

    Students investigate other activities that happen underground. Chart their effects on the weather, other landforms, etc. Consider natural events, as well as events caused, or influenced, by humans. Be prepared to share your findings with classmates.

    Students develop a geological timeline to put recorded time on Earth in perspective. Note various volcanic eruptions and the land formations that resulted over time. Include lunar events, earthquakes, and other earth-shaking events.

    Contact a classroom in a school that is located fairly near an active volcano. Share video chats between classes, investigating what life is like next to a volcano. Prior to chats, have students prepare questions so as to make the best use of video time.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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