I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 9.
This is part 4 of a 6 part hands-on unit study on Earth Science. Make edible volcanoes, build an erupting ring of fire, demonstrate plate tectonics using graham crackers, form each type of volcano using play-doh, and more! My lessons are geared toward 2nd-3rd grade level children and their siblings. These are lessons I created to do with a weekly homeschool co-op. We meet each week for 2 1/2 hours and have 14 children between the ages of 0-12. Use these fun lessons with your classroom, family, after school program, camp, or co-op!
Intro & Plate Tetonics
1. Stretch & pray. Read & discuss Hebrews 12:18-29.
2. Quickly review the destruction to the Earth from the flood.
3. Introduce the plate tectonics theory:
a. Review the layers of the earth by having the children sing “How God Put the Earth Together” from week 1's lesson.
b. Tell the children that a theory is an educated guess about something. Geologists have some ideas about the earth that they are not 100% sure about, but they are pretty certain about it. They call these theories. (Have the children say, “theory.”)
c. These earth’s layers are not always still. According to the hydrotectonic theory (Have the children say, “Hydrotectonic Theory.”), when the waters burst forth from the depths of the earth during Noah’s flood, the earth’s upper crust broke apart kind of like when you break apart a puzzle. [Demonstrate by separating the pieces of a puzzle.] The pieces of the earth’s crust still move around a little bit. Geologists call each of these puzzle pieces tectonic plates.
d. According to the Plate Tectonic Theory (Have the children say, “Plate Tectonic Theory”), the earth's crust is broken into plates which move. The movement causes continents to move, volcanoes to erupt, and oceans to spread.
TEACHER/MOM 1: YOU WILL NEED: the words to the song from week 1's lesson and a jigsaw puzzle
Plate Tectonic Fault Lines
4. (PREP: When the class-co-op starts, lay a napkin, clementine, & 4 toothpicks at each seat.) Let children sanitize hands. Pass out a Clementine to each child and have them peel it, trying to peel it all together as much as possible. Have them flatten out the peel and then try to put it back over the Clementine, securing it with toothpicks. After the flood, the Earth had a different shape. It also had fault lines like the rips in the Clementine skin. As the land (represented by the peel) bumps together, that causes volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Eat clementines.
TEACHER/MOM 2: YOU WILL NEED: hand sanitizer or hand wipes, 1 clementine or tangerine per child (MUST be easy to peel), 1 napkin per child, & 4 toothpicks per child
*If you would like additional hands-on activities on plate tectonics and fault lines, go to http://www.lessonpathways.com .
5. Hold up a few of the puzzle pieces that don’t go together and move them around as described below:
a. Because of the flood the earth is now broken up into pieces like these puzzle pieces. What do we call these pieces? (plates)
b. A fault or fault line is a crack in the earth's surface where two plates come together. [Hold up 2 puzzle pieces next to each other and have the children say, “fault.”] We’re going to hold up our 2 hands and pretend like they are 2 of the earth’s tectonic plates. [Have the children hold up their 2 hands and hold them parallel to the floor. Then point to the area between one of the children’s hands.] What is this area where the 2 tectonic plates meet called? (fault)
c. The earth’s tectonic plates are actually moving. They move in 3 main ways:
i. A divergent boundary is a fault where two plates spread apart. [Have children say, “divergent” as they spread their hands apart.]
ii. A convergent boundary is a fault where two plates push together [Have children say, “convergent” while holding their hands together.]
iii. Sometimes at a convergent boundary one plate goes underneath another plate. Geologists call that subduction. [Have children say, “subduction” while pushing 1 hand partially under the other hand.] Again, subduction isn’t one of the 3 plate boundaries. It’s something that happens at convergent boundaries.
iv. A transform boundary is a fault where two plates rub in opposite directions. [Have children say “transform” as they rub their 2 hands together, the side of one index finger to the side of the index finger on the other hand.]
v. Repeat 3 more times the hand movements and have the children say the boundary names as they go through each movement.
TEACHER/MOM 3: YOU WILL NEED: 2 pieces of the jigsaw puzzle (used above)
6. Use double stuff oreo cookies to demonstrate different plate movements.
a. Give each child a double-stuff oreo cookie and a napkin.
b. The earth’s crust or outer shell is called the lithosphere. Have the children say “lithosphere.” In Greek “lithos” means hard rock. The plates, composed of Earth’s crust and uppermost mantle, ride on a warmer, softer layer of the mantle, called the asthenosphere. Have the children say “asthenosphere.” The upper cookie will represent the lithosphere, the white filling will be the asthenosphere, and the lower cookie piece will be the lower mantle. Tectonic plates move in three basic ways.
c. Carefully detach the upper cookie by twisting it. Slide the upper cookie over the white filling. You are showing a rigid lithospheric plate move over the softer asthenosphere.
d. Earthquake: Break the upper cookie in half. As you do so, listen to the sound it makes. What does that sound represent? An earthquake! Earthquakes do not occur in the soft, flowing asthenosphere. They occur on brittle lithosphere. Each of these cookie halves is going to represent the place on our earth where 2 tectonic plates meet. Let’s determine how they move and what happens when they move.
e. Divergent plate boundary: (Have children say, “divergent.”) Push down on the 2 broken cookie halves and slide them apart. What happens to the creamy filling? What happens to the cookies as they push against each other? Just as the filling in the middle rose as the crackers moved, new earth (or magma) rises between plates when they spread apart. The creamy filling between the two broken “plates” may tend to flow upward, similar to the rising, decompression, and partial melting of hot asthenosphere at the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Ridge and the Continental Rift Zone near and below Iceland.
f. Convergent plate boundary: (Have children say, “convergent.”) Push one cookie piece beneath the other. What happens to the filling as the plates slide together? The cold, brittle lithosphere extends to great depths and deep earthquakes occur. Just as the ends of one of the cookies goes up when they come together, mountains are pushed up when plates are pushed together in a convergent boundary. The very largest earthquakes are at subduction zones where two plates get stuck together, then suddenly let go like what happens along the coast of Oregon. Subducton zones are frequently found where an ocean plate meets a land plate.
g. Transform plate boundary: (Have children say “transform.”) Slide the two cookie pieces laterally past one another, over the creamy filling. What do you notice about the cookie edges? Just as the crackers slide past each other and create a lot of friction, plates that rub together in the same way are very destructive. You can feel and hear that the “plates” do not slide smoothly past one another, but rather stick then let go, stick then let go. The cracking sound you hear each time is like an earthquake occurring along the San Andreas Fault in California.
h. Let’s name those 3 types of movements again: divergent, convergent, and transform.
i. Hotspots: Some of Earth’s landforms are created by hotspots (have the children say “hotspot”) where a plate rides over a fixed “plume” of hot mantle, creating a line of volcanoes. Imagine if a piece of hot, glowing coal were imbedded in the creamy filling – a chain of “volcanoes” would be burned into the overriding cookie. We’ll learn about volcanoes in just a little bit.
j. Allow children to eat the cookie.
TEACHER/MOM 3: YOU WILL NEED: 1 double-stuff Oreo cookie (MUST be double-stuffed) per child plus a few extras & 1 napkin per child
How God Put the Earth Together Song
7. Sing the new verses of How God Put the Earth Together Tune: "I'm a Little Teapot" (Motions are underlined.)
Earth is a puzzle of 13 plates,
Slowly moving as they meet their mates. (Hold hands parallel to floor and slowly rub them against each other.)
Some collide, some slide, some let lava through (For "collide" slap hands together, for "slide" slide hands back and forth, for "let lava through" wiggle your fingers)
As they float beneath both me and you. (Slowly wave back and forth as you point to yourself and to someone standing in front of you.)
Before Noah's flood the continents were one (Hold up 1 finger)
Due to sin their movement is never done (Sadly shake your head)
Seven continents slowly move around (Slowly sway and hold up 7 fingers)
On the hydronic plates that form the ground. (Point to the ground and jump as you say "ground.")
TEACHER/MOM 4: YOU WILL NEED: Words to this song written in large letters
(The song is adapted from How the Earth Works by O'Brien-Palmer from Originally Rocks and Shocks: Singable Science Songs.)
Continents Moving Toward the Pacific Ocean
8. (If you are not limited by time) Show how gravity is trying to pull the continents back toward the Pacific Ocean and how the lithosphere is significantly thinner under the Pacific Ocean as opposed to the Atlantic Ocean; therefore magma (melted rock) oozes out there more frequently than other places. Do this by putting some applesauce in a snack-size Ziploc bag. Push through the middle (like the floodwaters bursting up from the depths of the earth). Notice how the middle is thinner and everything is settling back toward that area. The crust below the Pacific Ocean is much thinner than the crust below the Atlantic Ocean, so magma oozes out more readily through those cracks. The continents are slowly drifting toward the Pacific Ocean just like the applesauce is slowly moving toward the thin spot in the middle.
TEACHER/MOM 4: YOU WILL NEED:globe & applesauce in a snack-size Ziploc bags per child
9. Read a book on volcanoes: Volcanoes by Franklyn M. Branley. (Change "millions of years" to "during Noah's flood 5,000 years ago.")
10. Make Edible Volcanoes: [Prep: While children are listening to the book in Activity 9, use scissors to cut parchment paper or aluminum foil into sheets that about 7”x7.” Place a sheet of paper/foil on the table for each child. Write children’s names on the parchment paper/foil using a sharpie marker. On each sheet, place a biscuit, a spoon, about 2 tsp. coarsely chopped corn chips, and about 2 heaping tablespoons of taco meat.]
a. Show children how to separate the dough into 2 thinner circles. Each of these will be a volcano.
b. The will use their spoons to place a scoop of taco meat onto each of their volcanoes and then sprinkle that with crushed corn chips. They will then squeeze the outer edges upward into the cone volcano shape.
c. Use the extra biscuits to make additional volcanoes for teachers/moms.
d. Place them on a baking sheet and bake them at 375 for 12 minutes.
TEACHER/MOM 2: YOU WILL NEED: (for 20 children) 3 pkg. (8oz) Grands flaky layer biscuits (must be Grands), 1 cup coarsely crushed corn chips, 17 spoons, parchment paper or aluminum foil, scissors, sharpie marker, & 2 baking sheets
TEACHER/MOM 3: YOU WILL NEED: (for 20 children) 2 baking sheets & about 1.25 lbs. prepared taco-cheese meat [Cook 1.25 lbs. of ground beef & drain. Combine 1 packet of taco seasoning. Usually you add water as well. Do whatever the taco seasoning package tells you to do. Mix in 1 1/2 cups of shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese into the remaining seasoned meat.]
Our Favorite Children's Books on Volcanoes
Also look for Volcanoes! Mountains of Fire (Step-Into-Reading, Step 4) by Eric Arnold, Eruption! The Story of Volcanoes (Dorling Kindersley Readers, Level 2: Beginning to Read Alone) by Anita Ganeri, Hill Of Fire (I Can Read, Book 3) by Thomas P. Lewis, Pompeii...Buried Alive! (Step into Reading)by Edith Kunhardt Davis, Volcanoes! (National Geographic Readers) by Anne Schreiber, and Volcanoes: Mountains That Blow Their Tops (Penguin Young Readers, L3), by Nicholas Nirgiotis. Diving to a Deep-Sea Volcano (Scientists in the Field Series) by Kenneth Mallory has photographs of scientists exploring underwater volcanoes. We didn't read the entire book, but we did enjoy the photos!
Volcanic Eruption Toothpaste Demo
11. Show a "volcanic" eruption using a tube of toothpaste and a pin using the below script that came from this Earth Science Unit. The tube will be the lithosphere and the toothpaste will be the molten magma under lithosphere. Press on tube and puncture it with a pin. The magma is moved by strong heat & pressure. If it finds a crack or fault line, it will erupt & release pressure.
a. If you have available space outside, shake up a can or bottle of soda and then open it. If you don't have the available space to demonstrate this, instead ask the children, "Have you ever shaken up a can or bottle of soda and then opened it? What happened?" All those gas bubbles in the soda pushed themselves and most of the liquid right out of the top of the can or bottle! That is similar to what volcanoes do.
b. Volcanoes are mountains, but they are a little different than mountains. How are they similar to mountains? How are they different?
c. Show the children your tube of toothpaste. Ask: What happens when you squeeze the bottom of a toothpaste tube? (Toothpaste comes out the opening at the top.) Demonstrate this. Ask: What if you squeeze the tube but did not take off the cap so the toothpaste had nowhere to go? Would pressure build up inside the tube? (Yes)
d. This is what happens with a volcano when it erupts. Magma, a mixture of gases and hot molten rock, collects in a chamber deep inside the earth. As more and more magma enters the chamber, more and more pressure builds. The magma pushes hard against the surrounding rock, opening up cracks wherever there are weak spots. Eventually one of the cracks opens almost all the way to the surface. Volcanoes are kind of like Earth's safety valves, releasing built up pressure from deep inside the Earth. Volcanoes erupt through weak spots in the Earth's surface, usually at tectonic plate boundaries.
e. Lay your tube of toothpaste (with the cap on) on the ground or table. Tell the children to imagine that the tube is the surface of the Earth. The toothpaste inside is hot, melted magma underground. Use the pin to make a tiny hole near the bottom. Ask children what the hole might represent. (A volcano's opening) Press down on the tube near the cap. Ask children what this action might represent. (Magma under pressure) What happens? (The magma oozes out of the volcano.)
f. As the magma rises through the tube and gets closer to the surface, the gases in the molten rock form bubbles, like the bubbles in a shaken can of soda. The bubbles push even harder against the cap (the Earth's crust) until it blasts through, blowing a hole right through the surface. Hot steam, ash, and gases come bursting out, pushing huge chunks of rock and big globs of lava (liquid magma that reaches the surface; also the rock formed when liquid lava hardens) into the air. Then even more lava spills over the top.
TEACHER/MOM 1: YOU WILL NEED: 1 tube of toothpaste, 1 pin
Volcanic Eruption Types
12. Demonstrate the types of volcanic eruptions using a full bottle of water over a large bowl:
a. Not all volcanoes erupt with a violent explosion. There are 4 main kinds of eruptions:
Hawaiian: gentle, lava is runny and flows out continuously [Squeeze the the bottle ever so slightly so that water dribbles out the top.]
Strombolian: small explosions [Gently squeeze the bottle in little spurts.]
Vulcanian lava is thicker, so trapped gases escape explosively [Squeeze the bottle 3 times so that a large squirt of water comes out each time.]
Plinian (Named after the boy who witnessed and recorded the eruption of Mount Vesuvius) lava is very thick, so trapped gases cause massive explosions & lots of ash thrown into air [Get a new bottle of water. Squeeze it really hard so that a huge burst of water pours out. If desired, also toss up a handful of flour to represent the large amounts of ash that are thrown out.]
b. Most volcanoes do not erupt continuously. Geologists (scientists who study the forces that make and shape the planet Earth) often describe volcanoes with terms usually reserved for living things, such as sleeping, awakening, alive, and dead. An active, or live, volcano is one that is erupting or has shown signs that it may erupt in the near future. A dormant, or sleeping, volcano is like a sleeping bear. Scientists expect a dormant volcano to awaken in the future and become active. However, there may be thousands of years between eruptions. An extinct, or dead, volcano is unlikely to erupt again.
TEACHER/MOM 2: YOU WILL NEED: 2 water bottles (preferably ones made from flimsy plastic), a large bowl, a large towel, and a handful of flour (optional)
*If you would like to add a bit of art into your lesson, check out these paintings (some modern and some classical) that feature volcanoes: saturday-volcano-art .
13. Sing the volcano song. (If you want to print off a worksheet that shows the parts that they can label later, you can find one at http://www.abcteach.com/free/d/diagram_volcano.pdf .
a. Quickly tell the children the steps in the life of a volcano by using the script that came from this Earth Science Unit: Magma rises to the surface from under the earth. Magma goes up the conduit due to pressure from heat. Magma, hot air, and gas burst out of the Earth's crust and create an area called a crater and a cone top. Magma outside the Earth is called lava. It flows on the land. Lava cools and hardens as igneous rock. The side of the volcano cracks. Air and magma come out to form fissures. Eventually, the lava outside the Earth and magma within the Earth harden. The volcano becomes extinct and doesn’t erupt anymore.
b. Sing What's Inside a Volcano?
Tune: London Bridge (Motions are underlined.)
What's inside a volcano, volcano, volcano?
(Hold up both arms like you're asking a question.)
What's inside a volcano? Let's find out!
Magma, air and hot ash, hot ash, hot ash,
(Wiggle your fingers)
Magma, air and hot ash, deep inside.
Pressure sends them up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up,
(Have your wiggling fingers move upward)
Pressure sends them up, up, up,
To the surface!
The conduit goes to the top, to the top, to the top,
(Form a triangle over your head with your two arms)
The conduit goes to the top,
Making a cone.
Lava pours out on the land, on the land, on the land,
(Starting with your arms over your head, have your hands come down to your sides as you wiggle your fingers.)
Lava pours out on the land,
Through a fissure.
It becomes igneous rock, igneous rock, igneous rock,
(Make a fist)
It becomes igneous rock,
Made from lava.
The volcano becomes extinct, becomes extinct, becomes extinct,
(Put both hands next to your face and pretend to go to sleep.)
The volcano becomes extinct,
No more eruptions!
TEACHER/MOM 4: YOU WILL NEED: Words to this song for the kids to see (either written/printed in large letters or copies made & passed out to each family)
14. Discuss different types of volcanoes and show pictures. We used the illustrations from Discovering Earthquakes and Volcanoes by Laura Damon and the photos of the real volcanoes from Dangerous Volcanoes by Seymour Simon. Have children get their play-doh and shape each type as you describe the 3 main types using the below script that came from this Earth Science Unit:
Show a picture of a cinder cone (Paricutin in Mexico). Discuss their shape (fairly small with steep sides and a bowl-shaped crater). Children make the play-doh into a cinder cone volcano. While they shape them, mention how they're formed: If the lava is thick and stiff, it might produce volcanic ash and cinders that pile up around a volcano's opening making it look like a giant cone or chocolate chip. This is talked about in the book, "The Hill of Fire." Cinder cone volcanoes are the most common type in North America. [Have them repeat, “cinder cone.”]Show a picture of a shield volcano (Mauna Loa in Hawaii). Discuss their shape (a wide, gentle-sloping cone) like a vanilla wafer cookie. Children make the play-doh into a shield volcano. While they shape them, mention how they're formed: Some volcanoes don’t erupt with a huge explosion of dust and gas. Instead, the lava bubbles and boils and spurts to the surface and then flows down the sides, like a huge pot of thick soup that’s been left on the stove too long. These are known as “quiet” volcanoes (even though their eruptions can be anything but quiet.) Their lava flows build gently sloping, dome-shaped mounds. Most of Hawaii’s great volcanoes, such as Mauna Loa and Kilauea, are shield volcanoes. [Have them repeat, “dome or shield volcano.”]Show a picture of a Composite volcano or Stratovolcano (Mount Fuji in Japan and Mount St. Helens in Washington state). Discuss their shape (tall cone shape with very steep sides - stereotypical volcano) and how they're formed: A volcano can erupt many times over and over again. After each eruption, the lava and ash around the opening cool and harden. Layer after layer, eruption after eruption, the volcano grows. This how most of the world’s tall, cone shaped volcanoes, such as Mount Vesuvius in Italy and Mount Fuju in Japan, came to be so tall. They kind of have the shape of a large Hershey's Kiss. Children make the play-doh into a Composite volcano/Stratovolcano. [Have them repeat, “composite volcano or stratovolcano.”]
TEACHER/MOM 1: YOU WILL NEED: Pictures of each type of volcano (from a book) and play-doh (from families)
*If you want to spend more time on types of volcanoes, you can find a fun skit on volcano types (along with a few more good volcano activities) at http://mjksciteachingideas.com/volcano.html#volskit .
Ring of Fire with Baking Soda/Vinegar Eruptions
15. (Do this outside) [Prep: While a teacher/mom is demonstrating a volcanic eruption using a tube of toothpaste, ask another teacher/mom to assist you. Go outside and lay the buckets with bottles in them in an oval or if you have a smaller group or a sandbox, simply place the bottles in a pile of sand in an oval shape. Leave a bit of space between each bucket/bottle. Use a funnel to pour 1/4 cup of baking soda into each bottle. Pour about 3/4 cup of vinegar into each cup. Place a drop of red food coloring into each cup. Place a cup next to each bucket. Pre-fill each bottle with baking soda. Pre-fill the cups with the vinegar and a few drops of red food coloring.
a. Explain about the ring of fire using the script that came from this Earth Science Unit:There are nearly 850 active volcanoes in the world. At least 80 are beneath the oceans. When the edge of one ocean plate is pushed beneath another, the rock that has sunk into the mantle melts and rises, bubbling upward into the sea through weak spots in the other plate. When the lava touches water it cools and hardens. In some places so much lava has built up that it sticks far above the water. That’s how volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean, such as the islands of Japan, were formed.
b. If you marked all the volcanoes in the world on a map like this picture in this book (Dangerous Volcanoes by Seymour Simon) and you drew lines between them like a connect-the-dots picture, you would see where some of the pushiest plates are on our planet. There are so many active volcanoes around the edge of the five big plates in the Pacific, that geologists call the area “The Ring of Fire!” (Have the children repeat, “Ring of fire.”)
c. We are going to create the ring of fire in the Pacific Ocean by each creating a bunch of volcanoes. Tell the children that each bottle has baking soda in it and each cup has vinegar with red food dye in it. When baking soda combines with vinegar, it creates a chemical reaction that forms a gas called carbon dioxide.
d. Have the children pour the vinegar into their bottles.
e. Tell children to go inside and wash their hands.
TEACHER/MOM 4: YOU WILL NEED: at least 5 cups of baking soda, 1/4 cup measuring cup, liquid measuring cup, 17 disposable cups, at least 13 cups of vinegar, & sand buckets with bottles (brought by families)
Snack & Review
14. (If you’re not running late on time) Sing the 2 songs from today: All 4 verses of “How God Put the Earth Together” & the volcano song.
15. After volcanoes have come out of the oven, squirt ketchup onto edible volcanoes and sprinkle each with a bit of cheese. Let the children eat their volcanoes and drink water.
TEACHER/MOM 3: YOU WILL NEED: 2 cups of shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese, 1 small disposable drinking cup for water per child, & 1 napkin per child
16. 5 Minute Review of what we learned: What event happened that caused the land on earth to break into pieces? (Noah’s flood) What do we call these pieces? (plates or tectonic plates) What do we call a crack in the earth's surface where two plates come together? (A fault or fault line) Are earth’s tectonic plates moving? (Yes) Remember we used oreo cookies to show this. A divergent boundary is a fault where what happens? (Two plates spread apart.)Use your hands to show me what happens at a divergent boundary. A convergent boundary is a fault where what happens? (Two plates push together.) Use your hands to show me what happens at a convergent boundary. Sometimes at a convergent boundary one plate goes underneath another plate. Geologists call that subduction. Show me subduction with your hands. A transform boundary is a fault where what happens? (Two plates rub in opposite directions.) Use your hands to show me what happens at a transform boundary. Sometimes at hotspots volcanoes form. Name something that is inside a volcano. (magma, air, and hot ash) What caused the magma to flow out of the volcano? (pressure & heat) When magma comes out of the fissure in a volcano, what do we call it? (lava) What type of rock does it become when it hardens: sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphic? (igneous) Name a type of volcano. (cinder, dome, shield, composite, stratovolcano). Most volcanoes are found in the Pacific Ocean in what ring? (Ring of Fire) What was your favorite activity from today?
Material List for the Lesson
*Everyone needs to bring per child:
- A volcano model prepared as follows: You will need an empty plastic bottle (such as a water or Gatorade bottle), a larger container (such as a sand pail), & dirt. Place the bottle in the sand pail. Fill the sand pail with dirt so that about half the water bottle is covered in dirt. Do not get dirt in the bottle. The dirt is simply there to keep the bottle from falling over when we create eruptions. You can assemble these at the church, but they need to be assembled before class/co-op begins.
*Items to be assigned to individuals to bring for the group:
-books: "Volcanoes" by Franklin Bradley & a book that shows the main types of volcanoes such as "Discovering Earthquakes and Volcanoes" by Laura Damon and "Dangerous Volcanoes" by Seymour Simon.
-the words to the song from week 1 and a jigsaw puzzle
-hand sanitizer or hand wipes, 1 clementine or tangerine per child (MUST be easy to peel), 1 napkin per child, & 4 toothpicks per child
-1 double-stuff Oreo cookies (MUST be double-stuffed) per child plus a few extras & 1 napkin per child
- (for a group of up to 16 children) 2 pkg. (8oz) Grands flaky layer biscuits (must be Grands), 1 cup coarsely crushed corn chips, 1 spoon per child, parchment paper or aluminum foil, scissors, sharpie marker, & 2 baking sheets
-(for a group of up to 16 children) 2 baking sheets & about 1.25 lbs. prepared taco-cheese meat [Cook 1.25 lbs. of ground beef & drain. Combine 1 packet of taco seasoning. Usually you add water as well. Do whatever the taco seasoning package tells you to do. Mix in 1 1/2 cups of shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese into the remaining seasoned meat.]
-1 tube of toothpaste & 1 pin
-2 water bottles (preferably ones made from flimsy plastic), a large bowl, a large towel, and a handful of flour (optional)
-words to the volcano song for the kids to see (either written/printed in large letters or copies made & passed out to each family)
-at least 1/4 cup of baking soda per child, 1/4 cup measuring cup, liquid measuring cup, 1 disposable cup per child, red food dye, & at least 3/4 cup of vinegar per child
-1 cup of shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese per 10 children, 1 small disposable drinking cup per child, & 1 napkin per child
Make an edible model of the earth as you study the Earth's layers, bake cookies that demonstrate how sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks form, create fossil casts, build marshmallow structures that can withstand a jell-o earthquake, carve gullies and valleys in sand using wind, water, and ice, make presentations on various aspects of the Earth, and more during this 6 lesson hands-on unit study of Earth Science!
- Earth's Layers and Soil Composition Lesson - This is part 1 of a 6 part hands-on unit on Earth Science from a Christian perspective. Make an edible model of the earth, act out each of the Earth's layers, do core testing on a cupcake, make oobleck, and more!
- Rock Classification Lesson - This is part 2 of a 6 part hands-on unit on Earth Science from a Christian perspective. Make and eat "Sedimentary" Seven Layer Bars, create "Metamorphic" Snickers bars, do some rock mining, and more!
- Fossils Lesson - This is part 3 of a 6 part hands-on unit on Earth Science from a Christian perspective. The focus of this lesson is fossils! Create fossils casts, dig up and piece together dinosaur skeletons, excavate dinosaurs, eat edible ammonites, and more!
- Plate Tectonics and Volcanoes Lesson - This is part 4 of a 6 part hands-on unit study on Earth Science. Make edible volcanoes, build an erupting ring of fire, demonstrate plate tectonics using graham crackers, form each type of volcano using play-doh, and more!
- Earthquakes Lesson - This is part 5 of a 6 part hands-on unit study on Earth Science. Create a tsunami, build marshmallow structures that can withstand an earthquake, act out seismic waves, build and use a seismograph, and more!
- Erosion Lesson - This is part 6 of a 6 part hands-on unit study on Earth Science. Demonstrate various types of erosion as children carve gullies and valleys in sand using air, water, and ice. Re-create the Grand Canyon. Compare how soil resists erosion.
- Earth Science Presentation and Field Trip Ideas - This is the culminating project we did after a 6 part hands-on unit on Earth Science. We made edible volcanoes, performed earth science demonstrations, displayed paintings of the earth's layers and volcanoes, sang songs about the earth science, and more! Also included are the field trips we attended during this unit.
Would you like to focus more on Mt. St. Helens?
Check out this more intensive study on Mount St. Helens that includes many hands-on activities and demonstrations from http://www.staidenshomeschool.com .
Watching Mount St. Helens Erupt
Perfect Bible Curriculum for This Unit - These are the books we used for our Bible curriculum during our Earth Science Unit.
They go perfectly with this unit! This is an EXCELLENT inductive Bible study series for children. They study scripture, draw the chapter, highlight key words, decode Bible verses, do crossword puzzles, apply scripture to their own lives, and more!
Would you like to teach this way every day?
I use Konos Curriculum as a springboard from which to plan my lessons. It's a wonderful curriculum and was created by moms with active boys!
If you're new to homeschooling or in need of some fresh guidance, I highly recommend Konos' HomeSchoolMentor.com program! Watch videos on-line of what to do each day and how to teach it in this great hands-on format!
© 2010 Shannon
Which Volcano Is Your Favorite? - Or just let me know you dropped by! I love getting feedback from you!
Shannon (author) from Florida on September 03, 2012:
@KimGiancaterino: Thank you! Yes, I love eating our school projects!
KimGiancaterino on September 02, 2012:
I like the idea of edible volcanoes. You can combine a learning experience with lunch. Excellent as always!
CruiseReady from East Central Florida on December 01, 2011:
Volcanoes really are fascinating, and I'll bet the kids love studying about them. I have only ever seen one Volcano up close and personal, and that's the one on St. Lucia, so I guess that's my favorite.
anonymous on November 18, 2011:
Every child would raptly attend to this lesson!
Bellezza-Decor from Canada on November 09, 2011:
Great way to teach kids about volcanoes and tectonics.
lasertek lm on May 16, 2011:
Very informative and great looking lens. Awesome job!
Shannon (author) from Florida on January 18, 2011:
@jimmielanley: That's a great idea for another lens! Maybe I'll start on that one after I finish uploading all my lesson plans.
Jimmie Quick from Memphis, TN, USA on January 18, 2011:
MORE food?! You should write a curriculum entitled "Eating Your Way Through Science."
anonymous on January 11, 2011:
What a fabulous lens! You have really put a lot into this and your co-ops must be educational and so fun!