- America the Beautiful Quarters
- Students will understand and describe how volcanoes are formed and how they function.
- Students will research basic features of volcanoes, specifically the volcanoes of Hawaii.
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of volcanoes through creative writing.
Major Subject Area Connections
- Language Arts
- Sessions: Four
- Session Length: 45-60 minutes
- Total Length: 151-500 minutes
- Whole group
- Small groups
- Individual work
Students should have a basic knowledge of:
- Earth's surface
- Writing process
Terms and Concepts
- 1 overhead projector or other classroom technology (optional)
- 1 overhead transparency (or equivalent) of the "Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Quarter" page
- Copies of the following:
- "Volcanoes 3+3" worksheet
- "Volcano Research Guide" worksheets (2 pages)
- "Writing a Scientific Recipe" worksheet
- 1 copy of an age-appropriate text that gives basic information about volcanoes, such as:
- Volcanoes (Let's Read and Find Out Science) by Franklyn Branley
- Volcanoes (Wonders of Our World) by Neil Morris
- Volcanoes: The Science Behind Fiery Eruptions by Alvin Silverstein
- Access to video clips or images of volcanoes
- Age-appropriate materials for partner research that provide additional information about volcanoes (including Hawaiian volcanoes) and recipes, such as internet web sites, videos, textbooks, reference materials, and other texts.
- Internet access (optional)
- Chart paper
- Markers, pencils, and crayons
- Make an overhead transparency (or equivalent) of the "Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Quarter" page.
- Make copies of the following:
- "Volcanoes 3+3" worksheet (1 per student)
- "Volcano Research Guide" worksheets (1 of each page per student)
- "Writing a Scientific Recipe" worksheet (1 per student)
- Locate a text that that gives basic information about volcanoes (see examples under "Materials").
- Prepare a chart labeled "Views on Volcanoes" to use in Session 1.
- Locate a variety of video clips and/or images of volcanoes.
- Locate materials for partner research that provide additional information about volcanoes, including Hawaiian volcanoes and recipes (see examples under "Materials").
Worksheets and files (PDF)
- Display the "Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Quarter" overhead transparency or photocopy. Locate this site on a class map. As background information, explain to the students that the United States Mint began to issue the quarters in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program in 2010. By the time the program ends in 2021, there will be a total of 56 designs on the back of the coin. Each design will focus on a different national site—one from each state, territory, and the District of Columbia.
- Tell the students that the back of a coin is called the reverse, and "obverse" is another name for the front.
- Ask the students to examine the coin image and tell you what they see in this image. Tell the students that they are going to be learning about general characteristics of volcanoes, as well as the volcanoes of Hawaii.
- Tell the students that they will use the Think-Pair-Share format to discuss volcanoes. Ask the students to think about what they already know about volcanoes, then briefly share with a partner, and finally share out with the entire class. Record student ideas on the "Views on Volcanoes" class chart.
- To build additional interest and activate background knowledge, show the students a variety of images and/or video clips of volcanoes. After viewing, continue using Think-Pair-Share to add to the "Views on Volcanoes" class chart.
- Introduce the students to the selected text about volcanoes. Explain that they will be learning about how volcanoes are formed, the parts of a volcano, and different types of volcanoes. Read the text aloud. As a group, add new information to the "Views on Volcanoes" class chart.
- Distribute the "Volcano 3+3" worksheet. To summarize learning, ask the students to record three new facts they learned and three questions they have about volcanoes and then update the chart as a class.
- Explain to the students that in the next session they will be researching additional information about volcanoes.
- Display the "Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Quarter" page. Review the material and chart covered in the previous session with the students.
- Explain to the students that, as they learn more about the science of volcanoes, they will be demonstrating their knowledge through creative writing.
- Distribute the "Volcano Research Guide" worksheets and briefly discuss as needed. Allow students time to work with partners to conduct additional research about the volcanoes in Hawaii and around the world. The students should complete the worksheet as they conduct their research.
- After allowing time for the research, ask the pairs to share their findings and add any new information to the "Views on Volcanoes" class chart as appropriate.
- Explain to the students that in the next session they will be applying their knowledge of volcanoes in a creative writing project.
Sessions 3 and 4
- Display the "Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Quarter" overhead transparency. Review with the students the material and charts covered in the previous sessions.
- Explain to the students that they will be using their new knowledge of volcanoes to create a "recipe" for making a volcano. To prepare for writing, ask the students to name common characteristics of a recipe (list of ingredients, amounts, steps, title) and list them on the board.
- Distribute the "Writing a Scientific Recipe" worksheet. Review the sample and all components of the assignment together.
- Provide the students with time to write, revise, and edit their volcano recipes. After editing, ask the students to create a final illustrated project.
- Have the students share their final projects with the class.
- Have students examine the connection between volcanoes and earthquakes through research on plate tectonics.
- Have students create a model to teach others about the key characteristics of volcanoes.
- Have students write recipes for other geologic or weather events and assemble into a class book.
- Have students display their knowledge about volcanoes through additional creative writing or poetry formats (haiku, biopoem, acrostic).
Have students research recent volcanic events through media sources.
- Take anecdotal notes about the students' participation in class discussions.
- Evaluate the students' worksheets and projects for understanding of the lesson objectives.
Common Core Standards
This lesson plan is not associated with any Common Core Standards.
Domain: 5-8 Content Standards
Cluster: Earth and Space Science
Grade(s): Grades 5–8
- Structure of the Earth system
- Earth’s history
- Earth in the solar system