Jordan Wargo 1

Geo 201 2015 Lesson Plan

Blowing our tops over Volcanoes
Grade Level:2

E.SE.E.2 Surface Changes- The surface of Earth changes. Some changes are due to slow
processes, such as erosion and weathering, and some changes are due to rapid processes, such as
landslides, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes.
E.SE.02.21 Describe the major landforms of the surface of the Earth (mountains, plains,
plateaus, valleys, hills).
Integrated Standards
R.WS.02.11 in context, determine the meaning of words and phrases including objects, actions,
concepts, content vocabulary, and literary terms, using strategies and resources including context
clues, mental pictures, and questioning
 When reading The Magic Tree House during the elaborate activity, students will be using
context clues to further extend their scientific vocabulary knowledge.
R.NT.02.03 identify and describe characters’ actions and motivations, setting (time and place),
problem/solution, and sequence of events.
 When reading The Magic Tree House during the elaborate activity, students will focus on
the setting of the novel in order to identify the volcano represented within the story.
The student will be able to identify the three most prominent volcanoes by mastering an
interactive volcano characteristic sorting game online.
Materials and Setup
 National Geographic clip
o Played on the class TV or SmartBoard off the teacher’s computer
 KWL charts (enough for each student) [ATTACHMENT A]
o Distributed by the teacher during the Engage

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Geo 201 2015 Lesson Plan

class science journals
o kept by students throughout the year
Laptops/computer access for students
o At school computer labs or on COWs
Volcano Explorer (
Volcano Explorer webquest worksheet (Enough for all students) [ATTACHMENT B]
o Distributed by the teacher during the Explore
Types of Volcanoes PowerPoint [ATTACHMENT C]
o Presented by the teacher to the students in an engaging manner
Types of Volcanoes guided notes (enough for all students) [ATTACHMENT D]
o Distributed by the teacher during the Explain
Seymour Simon’s Volcanoes
o Read by the teacher in a whole class read aloud
Laminated topographic/plate tectonic map
o Partner pairs will each receive a map and a dry erase marker
Magic Tree House: Vacation under the Volcano (Enough for all students)
o School copies will be distributed to the whole class
Dry erase markers
8X11 pieces of computer or craft paper
Colored pencils

There are no unusual safety concerns in this lesson
Requisite Knowledge/skills for students
Students should be able to identify mountains and valleys and list some characteristics of each.
Students should be able to read a map to identify different landforms.
1. “There is only one type of volcano!”
a. This is a lesson where the emphasis is on differentiating between the three major
volcano types.
2. “Lava (the black shiny stuff) is the only thing that erupts from a volcano”
a. One of the defining characteristics of the various volcano types is the material that
is erupted. Students will learn the different between the basaltic lava and the
andesitic pyroclasts.
Materials: National Geographic clip, KWL charts (enough for each student), class science
1. Students will watch the National Geographic clip. (
a. The teacher will ask students to consider the similarities and differences in the
types of lava flows.

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Geo 201 2015 Lesson Plan
i. Possible student responses might include: one was slower, some had ash
and smoke, some of the lava moved faster, one lava was higher than the
car it was pushing out of the way, etc.
b. The teacher will also ask students to think about how the volcanic structures are
i. Possible student responses include: one volcano was taller, one was wider
and shorter, etc.
2. The teacher will pass out the KWL charts (adopted from
3. Students will fill out the Know and Wonder sections of their volcano KWL charts and
paste them into their student science journals.
Materials: Laptops/computer access for students, Volcano Explorer webquest worksheet (Enough
for all students), Volcano Explorer (,
1. The teacher will hand out the Volcano Explorer webquest to the students and direct the
students to the appropriate webpage. The teacher will review the instructions with the
whole class before allowing the students to work through the webquest.
a. Students will complete a webquest on, Volcano Explorer.
i. NOTE: Depending on resources and teacher preference, this activity may
be done individually or in small groups
ii. Students will follow along with the instructions to manipulate the different
lava flows, and students will record the types of volcanoes created.
(Checking these webquests will be a formative assessment)
b. The teacher will be available for questions during this time.
Materials: Types of Volcanoes Powerpoint, Types of Volcanoes guided notes (enough for all
students), class science journals, Seymour Simon’s Volcanoes,
1. The teacher will read Volcanoes by Seymour Simon aloud to the class.
2. The teacher will present the related PowerPoint to the class
a. The students will fill out the guided notes in their science notebooks, following
along with the PowerPoint.
3. Students will engage in think-pair-share to check for comprehension (formative
a. The teacher will provide the prompt: summarize in 3 or 4 sentences the three
types of volcanoes.
b. The students will spend a minute or so formulating their own response, before
turning to a partner and sharing their response.
c. The teacher will allow the students sufficient time to discuss their responses, and
then ask if there were any questions or disagreements between partners.
Elaborate (Apply, Extend):
Materials: Laminated topographic/plate tectonic map, dry erase markers, Magic Tree House:
Vacation under the Volcano (enough for each student to have a copy), class science journals
1. The teacher will divide the class into small groups of three or four.
2. The teacher will distribute one topographic or plate tectonic map to each of the groups.

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Geo 201 2015 Lesson Plan
a. Students will work in small groups to locate volcanoes on a map.
b. On the map, students will draw symbols representing the volcanos that they
identify. (Formative assessment)
c. Students will record observed patterns in where the volcanoes form in their
science journals.
d. The teacher will be available for questions
3. The teacher will assign guided reading groups the book: Magic Tree House: Vacation
under the Volcano.
a. Students will begin to read the book in their small literature groups,
i. The teacher will give each group the necessary assistance based on the
groups literary developmental curricula.
ii. Each group should focus on using the setting to describe the effects of
living near the volcanoes. (R.NT.02.03)
iii. Students will use context clues to hypothesis what type of volcano
Pompeii is. (R.WS.02.11)
Materials: KWL charts, laptops/computer access for students, “Identifying Volcanoes”
BrainRush game, 8X11 pieces of computer or craft paper, colored pencils
1. The students will fill out the Learned section on their KWL charts
a. Students may be asked to share their favorite fact about volcanoes that they
learned through the lesson in a class discussion or in a small table discussion
2. The teacher will make “Identifying Volcanoes” available to students
a. Students will achieve mastery in the “Identifying Volcanoes” BrainRush game.
3. Students will construct pyramid foldables detailing the three types of volcanoes to display
in the classroom
a. Each panel should represent a different type of volcano and include:
i. Name of volcano, picture representation (drawn), type of material used to
form, some examples, fun fact
There are several formative assessments throughout the lesson
1. Webquest check: Students will complete the webquest and turn it in, but it will not be
taken for a grade, merely to make sure the students are understanding the activities.
2. Think-Pair-Share: The students will be involved in a discussion of the main ideas and
concepts and any discrepancies will be addressed as a whole class.
3. World map: The teacher will easily be able to see if the students are able to identify
volcanos by looking at the maps as the students compile them.

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Geo 201 2015 Lesson Plan
Scientific Background for the Teacher
Volcanoes are the physical manifestations of a changing Earth’s surface. They generally
form near plate subduction zones and over hot spots in the earth’s crust. Erupting volcanoes are
the very events that form volcanoes. Different volcanic creation events will cause different types
of volcanoes to erupt. Each type of volcano is a combination of different materials and have
different surface expressions, though the general mechanics are similar. For the purposes of this
lesson, we will focus on the three main types: shield, cinder cone, and stratovolcanoes.
A shield volcano is one that general forms over hot spots in the oceanic crust. Igneous
intrusions emanating from the magma chamber will move through the layers of mantle and crust.
This magma is composed of highly mafic material, most commonly made of basalt. These
intrusions will place an upwards pressure on the material within the oceanic crust, until
eventually, it erupts. Basaltic lava will flow from a rift in the surface and spew into the ocean or
onto the surrounding land. This lava will flow slowly across the surrounding area, before
solidifying. Shield volcanoes form when the lava solidifies and the layers begin to add up over
time. This causes this type of volcano to have a low standing and wide reaching profile. This
distinctive warrior-shield-like shape gives shield volcanoes their name. Some of the famous
shield volcano examples are the Hawaiian Island chain, which forms over a hot spot in the
Pacific oceanic plate, Iceland, which formed along the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Ridge, and other
island arcs found across the globe.
A cinder cone volcano is formed by the compilation of cinders, ash, and other pyroclasts
from a violent volcanic eruption. This type of volcano will form in conjunction with shield or
composite volcanoes. Cinder cone for pyroclasts with many air bubbles formed when the
erupting magma released the trapped gas and the material solidifies. During an eruption of a
cinder cone, cinders and ash are shot forcefully into the air directly above the main vent of
eruption. These cinders have little to no horizontal velocity to move them far from the source of
the eruption, so they gather and for loosely packed hills around the central vent. The less gaseous
magma will then rise up to settle within the core of the cinder hill, providing structure for the
newly formed volcano. Due to its brittle and loosely packed nature, cinder cone volcanoes are
easily eroded and covered in vegetation. Some cinder cones are created by one single eruption
event, while others may build up over time, which leads to variation in height and width of the
volcanoes. Some examples of cinder cone volcanoes would be the Parícutin in Mexico, which
erupted for 9 years, and the Newberry Volcano Crater in Oregon.
The third main type of volcanoes that is emphasized in this lesson is the stratovolcano, or
a composite volcano. As the name, composite, suggests, this type of volcano combines properties
of both the shield volcano and the cinder cone volcano. Generally, when you ask someone to
draw or describe a volcano, they will think of a stratovolcano. A stratovolcano is characterized
by its high, steep slopes. Composite volcanoes are generally found near subduction zones
between an oceanic and a continental plate. When the oceanic crust is pulled underneath the
continental plate, the seawater and heat emanating from the mantle and core will melt the
continental materials below the crust. This will cause more felsic material to be formed and the
increasing pressure will cause the volcanic structure to erupt. Stratovolcanoes erupt highly
viscous lava as well as pyroclasts. This combination of cinders, ash, and lava, will cause a
stratovolcano to form alternating layers of lava and pyroclasts and as they pile up, the volcano
slopes will become steeper, giving the volcano its singular profile. Some famous examples of
composite volcanoes are Mount St. Helens, in Washington State, and Mount Hood in Oregon.

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Geo 201 2015 Lesson Plan
Below is a diagram from: Mattox and Smrecak, lecture. This diagram details the types of
volcanoes formed in relation to subduction plate boundaries. While this diagram does not specify
cinder cones, remember that cinder cones generally form in conjunction with a composite or
shield volcano.

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Geo 201 2015 Lesson Plan

(n.d.). Retrieved November 1, 2015, from
Dinah Zike, Big Book of Social Studies for Elementary K-6, Dinah-mite Adventures, LP, POBox
690328, San Antonio, TX 78269-0328. ( ISBN - 1-882796-20-9
Mattox, S., & Smrecak, T. (2015, November 1). Study Guide to Plate Tectonics. Lecture
presented in Padnos Hall, room 110.
Osborne, M., & Murdocca, S. (1998). Vacation under the volcano. New York: Random House.
Simon, S. (1988). Volcanoes. New York: Morrow Junior Books.
Volcano Explorer. (n.d.). Retrieved November 1, 2015, from
Volcanoes. (n.d.). Retrieved November 13, 2015, from
Wargo, J. (n.d.). Identifying Volcanoes. Retrieved December 10, 2015, from

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Geo 201 2015 Lesson Plan