homeschool, STEM

Volcanoes & Earth’s Changes Lesson: Geology Unit for Elementary

As we dig deeper into Geology, it is necessary to understand the vital role magma and volcanoes play in shaping our planet.  

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Learning Objectives 

  • Changes to Earth’s Surface; Volcanic Eruptions
  • Find evidence of Changes to the Earth’s Surface
  • How Do Rock Layers Form

Day Two: Volcanoes

Warm Up

You will be surprised just how much volcano trivia your child has acquired over the time spent on their PBS app and watching T.V.  In order to have better insight on their present understanding I had them start with this FREE cut and paste worksheet from  

And then we were warmed up by this adorable, yet incredibly informative video on YouTube.

The Lesson

  Of all the books on volcano’s I could find, this was perhaps my favorite.  The images were captivating while still informative.  The story was simple, and short, easy to follow. It goes into detail on the volcanic past of Yellow Stone Park.  The images and words will connect our Earth Layer’s focus of the day before into today conversation.  This is definitely added to our permanent library for the kids to look back and reference in the future.  It’s available on Amazon here.

What have we learned so far today about volcanoes?

  • How do they form? 
  • What do they do? 

Where Can We Find Volcanoes?

On the slide presentation I have provided a clear global map of volcanoes, what observations were made?  While my youngest, preschool, was just making sure there were none located in Florida.  My oldest, fifth grade, was making connections to the Volcano’s proximity and his own theories of Pangaea.  The conversation and exploration on our own was quite fun and enlightening.

Did you know that when magma cools it becomes a solid rock?  Yes son, like in Minecraft. 

Hawaii is the only state in the United States that is fully formed by Volcanic mass, and just so happens to be the home of the two most active volcanoes in the world.  I always love the videos in the National Geographic: Are We There Yet series, and the one that explores the volcanoes in Hawaii is no exception.  

The Experiment

Although you can purchase a kit, being one who used to throw together bath bombs, on a budget a volcano can be created with a small glass, some food dye, baking soda and citric acid.  Just add water! 

The kit we used was this Volcanic Eruption & Lava Lab.   I purchased because of its affordable twenty dollar price point, but realized we received more than we had bargained for.  This kit explores much more than just the explosive top of the volcano.  It also allowed for the kids to explore mineral pools, and gases that also revolve around a volcano.  This kit can be found on Amazon here.

The Featured Film

For rest time later in the day we grabbed our favorite snacks and watched Reading Rainbow’s Hill of Fire.



More Tectonic Fun!






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