What is Volcano Day?
We do a volcano-themed unit every year, and that usually includes an erupting volcano. We use this opportunity to learn about science concepts, but there’s also a bit of history you can add to Volcano Day lessons. In 79 A.D., the very active volcano in Italy called Mount Vesuvius had its most famous eruption. The volcano buried the ancient Roman city of Pompeii and its two thousands citizens under a thick carpet of volcanic ash. Though, some time travel enthusiasts know that Doctor Who erupted the volcano to save us all. 😉
What you’ll need for Volcano Day
The Erupting Volcano Model at Educents is unique in that it’s huge — almost a foot tall, super sturdy and realistic. It also includes a volcano cross-section so that you can open it up and see exactly what a volcano looks like inside. The volcano is very mess-free and has no assembly required.
The easy recipe called for baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring (last one optional) making the total initial set-up time around 3 minutes. We erupted the volcano numerous times during the first day using it, and it stayed at the kitchen table (to Daddy’s chagrin) for the next few days for imaginative play.
It’s different from the other volcanoes we’ve tried, both crafted and store-bought. No other volcano shows you the inside or is so sturdy and so ginormous!”
The volcano model from Educents was the perfect vehicle – easy to use, easy to clean up, and the kids love it. After doing one experiment together, my kids can now make the volcano erupt whenever they want!
Turn the Erupting Volcano Experiment into a lesson
The Owl Teacher’s instantly-downloadable tabbed booklet on “Volcano Science” was the perfect last-minute accompaniment! The kids loved it, and so did their teacher — it was fun to color, came out very nice, and included some great information on volcanoes in a way both my 3rd and 5th graders could understand.
The Erupting Volcano Experiment addresses science concepts for students of both elementary and middle school ages. Consider adding the following concepts to your Volcano Day:
- Plate tectonics
- Igneous rock
- The Earth’s core
- Ecosystem changes
- Catastrophic events
- How volcanoes can create landforms like mountains and oceanic ridges
Some of the Common Core Standards I found after a quick search included:
- A volcano can act as a giant cooling vent for Earth’s inner core.
- Catastrophic events such as flooding, volcanoes, and earthquakes can create landforms.
- Ecosystems can change rapidly due to the effects of volcanoes, earthquakes, or fire; or very slowly due to climate change. Major changes over a short and long period of time can have a significant impact of the ecosystem and the population of plants and animals living there.
- Water, wind, pollution/gases in the air, ice movement, earthquakes and volcanoes, freezing/thawing can all weather rock and soil.
More lesson ideas:
- Using a world map, mark the locations of all volcanoes that are recorded each week for a month (or longer). Outline the boundaries of where the concentrations are located. Compare and contrast this map with a map of plate boundaries. Ask about what types of boundaries are found in the volcano areas.
- The NASA Visible Earth Program houses hundreds of satellite photos that can be used to illustrate specific landforms. Compare photos to a map to learn about recognizable features of volcanoes.
We found The Erupting Volcano Experiment to be so valuable especially because it provides hands-on learning and because it’s different from the other volcanoes we’ve tried, both crafted and store-bought. No other volcano shows you the inside or is so sturdy and so ginormous!
About the All-Star Blogger
Celena Marie is a historical fiction writer and graduate school student majoring in Elementary Education. She’s been homeschooling her four kiddos for five years and absolutely loves it! She blogs about motherhood, homeschooling, travel, and fashion on The Traveling Sisterhood.