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A Unit Study on Volcanoes and Earthquakes

This can be a fun and hands-on unit study. You can make this as indepth a unit study as you wish. As a parent/teacher you may wish to add your own created search-a-words or cross word puzzles to enhance your study.


1. Take a wire tomato cage, the kind that you put in the garden that is roughly conical in shape. Cover with brown paper to create the mountain or volcanic cone. You can decorate the top in two ways, (1) paint the top white to mimic a snow-covered peak or (2) use red and orange streamers to mimic lava.

2. Make a paper mache volcano. This is a messy craft so do it out of doors.

3. Homemade volcanic eruption at Lots O' Lava

4. Look around your house to make it “earthquake safe” – FEMA for Kids http://www.fema.gov/kids/volcano.htm or http://www.fema.gov/kids/eqhunt.htm

5. Take a virtual fieldtrip to different volcanoes around the world:
http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/kids/vrtrips.html or
http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/kids/kids.html or

6. Science: Create a volcano in a bottle -- http://www.yesmag.bc.ca/projects/volcano.html

7. Geography: Build a elevation map of the Hawaiian Islands. You can use any salt dough recipe or use this hypoallergenic clay

8. Read a personal narrative of what happened during the most recent eruption of Mount Saint Helen: http://www.cotf.edu/ete/modules/volcanoes/vnarrative1.html

9. Photography & Art: Study photographs of the 1980 eruption of Mount Saint Helen. Try and reproduce these pictures using pencil and paper.
http://www.aone.com/~robert/helens.html or
http://www.olywa.net/radu/valerie/StHelens.html or

10. Study Hawaiian volcanoes. How do they differ from other volcanoes around the world? http://www.volcanic.com/~dan/

11. Visit the website of the National Volcanic Monument at Mount Saint Helen http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/mshnvm/

12. Make a tasty earthquake gelatin treat: http://www.fema.gov/kids/tastyeq.htm

13. Creative Writing: Pretend you are at the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. If you were writing to relatives after the eruption, what would you say?

14. Research: Find out about some of the most recent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. Which have been worse in the passed six months.

15. Research: Who invented the seismograph? http://inventors.about.com/science/inventors/library/inventors/blseismograph.htm


Ask A Geologist: http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/docs/ask-a-ge.html/
Ask An Earth Scientist: http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/GG/ASK/askanerd.html
Ask An Energy Expert: http://www.eren.doe.gov/menus/energyex.html
Volcano World – this site has many interesting links for kids: http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vw.html
Volcano World’s Kid Door: http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/kids/kids.html
The Magic School Bus’s Build a Volcano game: http://www.microsoft.com/kids/msb/earth.htm
Virtual Fieldtrip to a Volcano: http://www.tramline.com/tours/volcano/_tourlaunch2.htm
USGS site for getting information on the earthquakes: http://quake.wr.usgs.gov/
Earthquake of the Day: http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~polet/recofd.html
US Geological Survey homepage: http://info.er.usgs.gov/
FEMA for Kids – volcanoes: http://www.fema.gov/kids/volcano.htm
Photos of volcanoes: http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/photo_list.html
Can We Predict Volcanic Eruptions?: http://www.learner.org/exhibits/volcanoes/entry.html
The Electronic Volcano: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~volcano/
Puzzles of the Earth: http://library.thinkquest.org/17701/
Earthquake ABC: http://pasadena.wr.usgs.gov/ABC/
USGS for Kids: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/4kids/
Stromboli On-line: http://educeth.ethz.ch/stromboli/index-e.html
This Dynamic Earth: http://pubs.usgs.gov/publications/text/dynamic.html




National Geographic video series has several that would be excellent for this study. You may be able to find them through your local library (through inter-library loan) or local video store.


Hill of Fire by Thomas P. Lewis
Volcanoes! : Mountains of Fire (Step into Reading. Step 3 Book.)
Eyewitness Readers: Volcanoes and Other Natural Disasters (Level 4, Grades 2-4)
Volcano & Earthquake (Eyewitness)
Volcanoes (Closer Look At)
Volcanoes (The Wonders of Our World)
Earthquakes and Volcanoes (Usborne Understanding Geography)


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