Students are challenged to develop a screenplay or story, set within the
community, which would help audiences understand volcanoes, volcanic
hazards, and how volcanoes fit into the Earth system.
Understand how and why volcanoes are part of Earth systems.
Participate in scientific inquiry and construct logical conclusions
based on evidence.
Recognize the hazards and benefits of volcanic activity.
Appreciate the value of Earth science information in saving lives
and preventing or reducing damage to communities.
Activity 1 -- Where are the Volcanoes?
To learn more about this topic, visit the following web sites:
1. Volcanoes Beneath the Sea
Reviews the basics of plate tectonics and examines closely submarine
volcanoes at divergent and convergent boundaries and hot spots.
The site has good images of underwater lava flows as well as images of
the organisms that live near these submarine volcanoes.
Site includes a general overview of submarine volcanic eruptions as
well as information about specific underwater volcanoes including the
volcanoes of the Juan de Fuca ridge in the Pacific, Kavachi of the
Solomon Islands, Kick 'Em Jenny of the West Indies, the Loihi Seamount
of Hawaii, and Surtsey and the Vestmannmaeyjar volcanics of Iceland.
Review the major types of volcanoes, including calderas, cinder cones,
composite volcanoes, statrovolcanoes, and shield volcanoes.
Provides links for further details and information about specific
Reviews the basics of plate tectonics and allows reader to further
investigate specific volcanoes within the "ring of fire".
Includes several maps which highlight the "ring."
Read an introduction about the volcanoes and volcanic fields of
Alaska, which make up the northern portion of the "ring of
fire". Also includes maps and allows further investigation of
specific volcanoes in Alaska.
Read more information about flood basalt and how they formed the
Columbia Plateau. It also includes links to a map and geologic
time scale for the subdivisions within the Columbia River Basalt
View a slide show with color photos and descriptions about the theory
of "hotshots." Site also includes a list of sample lesson plans,
key concepts, references, and activities about hot spots and the
Site provides a list of key points to convey when teaching about
topographic maps. The sample lesson plan is aimed for students
in grades 5-8 but may be helpful for students grade 9-12 as well.
Find out more about how the chemical composition of magma varies in
igneous rocks. The discussion is not limited to just extrusive
rocks, but includes intrusive rocks as well.
View a slide show of different volcanic landforms with color photos
and descriptions of each landform. Site also includes a list of
references and activities about volcanic landforms.
View a slide show of different forms of lava with color photos and
descriptions of each type. Site also includes a list of
references and activities about lava.
A similar type of overview of pyroclastic flows. However, site
also includes a discussion about how geologists discovered pyroclastic
flows as well as a list of journal and book references about
Site gives a detailed introduction to lahars, describing what
initiates a lahar flow, what is the composition of a lahar flow, and
cites several historic examples of lahar flows associated with
View a slide show with color photos and descriptions about
tephra Site also includes a sample lesson plan, outline of key
concepts, references, and activities about tephra.
Read a series of fact sheets to investigate further different types of
volcanic particles. See a picture of a bear foot-print in
In 1989-1990, a series of eruptions of Redoubt Volcano in Alaska
threatened airplane traffic throughout northern North America.
Site includes several examples of the dangers volcanic eruptions can
have on airplanes, even if the airplane is hundreds or thousands of
miles from the volcano.
Site includes many different mini fact sheets about volcanic gases
organized by topic. It is also provides a sample quiz,
references, and other web links about volcanic gases.
This article from NASA's Distributed Active Archive Center details the
effects that large scale eruptions, such as the eruption of Mount
Pinatubo, can have on the long-term global climate.
To complete the Inquiring Further section of this activity: To learn
more about monitoring the Cascade volcanoes, visit the following web
View a slide show about igneous rocks. The lesson is part
of a series of lessons called "Rocks and Minerals." To see the
complete outline of the lesson go to:
Download state geologic maps at About.com's
Maps - informative review on how to read and interpret
Geologic maps: Regional (two or more
The on-line bookstore of
the American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Topographic maps: Local
The United States Geological Survey MapFinder
allows you to order 7.5 minute maps online for $4 per map plus $5
s/h per order.
The United States Geological Survey maintains a list of Map
Dealers. Click on your state to obtain a list of
retailers who sell maps.
The United States Geological Survey National Geologic Map Database
site on How
find topographic maps
TopoZone site allows you
to download topographic maps (including USGS maps) for free, at
various scales (from 1:100,000 to 1:24,000).
MapServer offers free
online viewing of topo, nautical and aeronautical charts plus high
altitude digital ortho quads (nav photos). (www.maptech.com and
General Map Resources:
An excellent list of map resources available online can be found
on the Central Michigan University
Resources for Earth Science and Geography Instruction web
site. Included are links to sites to make maps, as well as
links to free downloadable outline maps, satellite imagery, GPS, and
"Maps" - USGS Earth
Science Information Center, includes general map information, from
how to read maps to how to obtain them. Also includes links to
further information regarding topographic, thematic, planetary maps,
and more. (http://ask.usgs.gov/maps.html)
Geographic (maps and videos): 1-800-962-1643
of the United States" - USGS fact sheet, contains a series of
depictions of the United States, along with information on how to
obtain additional US maps.
the World" - USGS fact sheet, contains a series of world maps,
including outline maps, seismicity maps, and political maps.
Also contains information for ordering more specific world maps.
Maps" - USGS site of a variety of US maps that are available
online, including shaded relief maps, aquifer maps, and further
information on how to order maps not available online.
For Activities 2, 3, 4, or 7:
Perilous Beauty, The Hidden Dangers of Mount Rainier, US
Geological Survey (call 1-800-436-3282)
Understanding Volcanic Hazards, UNESCO. Available from:
3029 Spirit Lake Hwy
Castle Rock, WA 98611
National Geographic: Born of Fire
National Geographic: In the Shadow of Vesuvius
NOVA (WGBH Boston): Volcano!
Encyclopedia Britannica: When the Earth Explodes (22min. Kilauea
and St. Helens (1-800-554-9862)
Volcanoes of North America, Charles A. Wood and Jurgen Kienle, 1990,
New York: Cambridge University Press, 354 p.
Volcanoes, by Neil Morris, 1995, New York: Crabtree Publishing,
Inc., 32 pages, color illustrations.
Volcano Weather: the Story of 1816, the Year without a Summer, by
Henry Stommel, 1983, Seven Seas Press.
Published by the American Geological Institute, this magazine reviews
current issues in the Earth Sciences and can serve as a valuable
supplemental resource for teachers and students alike. Visit the web site for online
articles and information about obtaining a one-year subscription
(40% discount for AGI Member Society members; 65% discount for
Excellent sources of high-school level articles are in both National
Geographic (which often has maps), and Science News (describing the most
recent and interesting events in scientific research.)