Volcanic Learning Extensions
We knew that Lauren Tarshis's gripping story "Mountain of Fire," about the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980, would be a home-run for Storyworks Jr. readers. The science of volcanoes is fascinating, and their power is breathtaking. Keep your students engaged with the learning extensions below, and as always, let us know if you came up with any great extensions for one of our stories!
TO READ: An in-depth account of the eruption of Mount St. Helens
TO DO: A timeline
This fantastic book by Patricia Lauber goes into great detail telling the story of the eruption of Mount St. Helens, from the warning signs to the slow return of wildlife to the area. This will appeal to science- and history-minded students alike, with its vivid photographs and diagrams.
LEARNING TASK: Have students create a colorful timeline poster of the events leading up to and following the eruption of Mount St. Helens.
TO WATCH: A mesmerizing video of lava
TO DO: A creative writing assignment
LEARNING TASK: After watching the video, have students write creatively about the spectacle of a volcano. They can write a poem, a paragraph, or even make a list of similes and metaphors describing volcanoes or lava.
TO EXPLORE: A fact-filled infographic
TO DO: A research project
This easy-to-read infographic shares some fun, unexpected facts about volcanoes.
LEARNING TASK: Go over the infographic as a class, discussing which facts students found the most surprising or interesting. Then have students work in pairs or small groups to research volcanoes further, using your school's library, the internet, or any other sources you may have. Each pair or group should come up with at least one new fact about volcanoes that they found surprising. For an extra extension, these facts could be compiled into a binder or on a bulletin board.
TO STUDY: A visual display of various volcanic rocks
TO DO: A hands-on nature exploration
This website has great photographs of all the different types of igneous rocks. In our article we mention pumice, but there are many more fascinating types!
LEARNING TASK: If appropriate for where your school is located, have students explore outside and look for rocks they think might be volcanic. Your students might be surprised to be able to find examples right in their backyard, so to speak. For more urban environments, remember that granite is an igneous rock!
We hope these extensions inspire your students, and if you tried any of them out, let us know by emailing us or tweeting with the hashtag #StoryworksJr!