To understand how volcanoes have shaped the earth and particularly the impact they have had around our town, students are asked to define what a volcano is. Students are asked to do a think down. This is where they have to think while I run a timer that counts down. Students have to just think during this time and when the timer goes off, we can discuss their ideas.
After we discuss their ideas, we read an article on what makes a volcano. This article we read together, and then for fluency practice I ask them to read with their elbow partner. Each student takes a turn reading a section of the article. We then as a class discuss the key details and facts that help us to understand what makes up a volcano.
To understand the process of how a volcano is made or formed we need to draw one. We live in a town that is in between two large volcanic mountains. Students will use the information from the article and then we will draw our own volcano using our white board. The white board makes the process easy. Students can start with one piece and erase or add the next layer to demonstrate the build up and transformation that occurs when a volcano is created.
To connect our learning we are going to look close to home. We start by watching a short video on volcanoes. I ask students to use their white boards and write down what they notice. I ask that they not only look at the way in which volcanoes might do damage, but also any positives they notice. We will share their thinking by playing the game "Me Too." This is where if students match any of their ideas with another, those students say "me too." This symbolizes that they also thought that and have the same idea.
Next, we are going to explore what we have learned and look at areas closer to home. Arizona has a few volcanic mountains and two make up the landscape of our town. They are both different and are great to use as discussion points. To create a visual and to practice reading information from the internet I pulled up the following website: http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/arizona.html. Together we navigate information on the site and use it to discuss and develop our learning further. The site then provided a step by step look at an explosion.