“On Saturday 15 January, at 5:10pm local time, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai undersea volcano erupted in a blast 600 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. It could be felt as far as away as New Zealand and Alaska. It prompted a tsunami.”The Guardian Jan 24, 2022
Do you use current events to trigger learning opportunities for your children?
The disaster that happened just a few weeks ago in Tonga was one of those times for us. My children had questions about tsunamis and underwater volcanoes. We were officially on ‘school holidays’, so, none of this learning was documented. As we all know though, just because we didn’t plan a lesson, and just because we are on holidays, doesn’t mean that learning doesn’t happen. As home-schoolers we know that life IS learning, E.V.E.R.Y.D.A.Y!
But it was also an opportunity to set aside some resources for further learning at a future date. I scoured the internet for some free activities and worksheets and am planning to use them with a prompting to my children “Remember the volcano that erupted in Jan? Let’s learn more about that!”
I thought you might be interested in sharing our learning experience with your own children, so here are the things I found.
What do we know about volcanoes?
A VOLCANO is a crack or vent in the earth’s surface through which gas, molten rock, lava, or hot vapour is, or has, erupted. Mostly, they are mountain-shaped, but they don’t have to be. Volcanoes usually occur where the tectonic plates on the earth’s surface move. There are volcanoes all around the world but the majority of them are underwater.
At the Volcano Discovery website, you can access an interactive map that shows where the volcanoes are and whether or not they are active. The majority of the world’s volcanic activity takes place along what is known as the ‘Ring of Fire’. You can read more about this on the World Atlas site. There are lots of videos about volcanoes on YouTube, this one is a short documentary on underwater vents and volcanoes.
Learning about volcanoes wouldn’t be complete without an eruption experiment. You might like to try this underwater one!
If you are looking for activities, worksheets, or notebook pages, try these sites
- 3D Geography has a great range of free worksheets.
- Home-school Helper offers free volcano notebook pages.
- National Geographic Kids has volcano facts and links to resources.
Include some math in your volcano study! Here are some mathy facts that I found:
- Lava from a volcano can reach temperatures from 700 – 1,300 degrees Celsius.
- Mega-colossal volcano plume heights can reach in excess of 50 km.
- Submarine volcanoes account for 75% of the Earth’s annual magma output.
What other facts can you find? Use the facts you find to create an infographic, like the one HERE.
You might also like to research the 10 largest volcanoes and make a bar graph, like THIS one.
Here is a free PDF download to guide your teens in doing a volcano research project.
Book recommendations? Of course!