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Volcanoes by Seymour Simon

Teacher Guide by Elizabeth Pedro

Find this Common Core aligned Teacher Guide and more like it in our Elementary School Category!

Student Activities for Volcanoes Include:

Volcanoes, by Seymour Simon, is an informational text about how volcanoes are formed, where they’re found, why they erupt, and the effects of their eruptions.

By the end of this lesson your students will create amazing storyboards like the ones below!




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A Quick Synopsis of Volcanoes

Volcanoes begins with a short description of early Romans, who believed in Vulcan, their god of fire, and of early Hawaiians who believed in Pele, their goddess of fire. In these early times, nobody knew how volcanoes formed or why they spout molten rock. Now, we know much more about volcanoes.

Volcanoes may be dormant for many years, but if they do erupt they can cause serious destruction. Volcanoes are found in areas where the Earth’s plates meet. Some underwater volcanoes have grown so high that they create islands. Lava cools and hardens to create either a tangle of sharp rocks or a smooth, billowy surface. This lava destroys plants and animals living in the area, but also brings new mountains, new islands, and new soil to the land.


Essential Questions for Volcanoes

  1. How are volcanoes formed?
  2. What are the effects of volcanic eruptions?

Volcanoes Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

Vocabulary Lesson Plan in Volcanoes by Seymour Simon


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In this volcano activity, students demonstrate their understanding of several vocabulary words related to volcanoes using a spider map. After choosing words, students should provide the part of speech and definition, then demonstrate their understanding of the words through an illustration in the related storyboard cell.


Example Vocabulary Words from Volcanoes

  • erupt
  • magma
  • lava
  • volcanic ash
  • cinders
  • crater

Volcanoes Vocabulary

Example

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Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of the vocabulary words in Volcanoes by creating visualizations.


  1. Choose three vocabulary words from the text and type them in the title boxes.
  2. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary.
  3. Write a sentence that uses the vocabulary word.
  4. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to show the meaning of the words with the search bar.
  5. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.



Vocabulary Template Blank

Example

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Cause and Effect Graphic Organizer | Volcanoes by Seymour Simon


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For this volcano activity, students will identify cause and effect relationships. Many events unfold or problems occur because of previous events and situations. Identifying cause and effect relationships in informational texts can help students better understand natural processes, historical events, social changes and trends, and more. The example below pulls out three examples from the text, Volcanoes, showing various patterns of volcanic activity.


CAUSE EFFECT

Example 1

In 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted with incredible force. Many houses and roads were destroyed, and 57 people lost their lives.

Example 2

In 1963, an undersea volcano in Iceland began to boil and churn. A new island, Surtsey, was formed.

Example 3

Volcanoes erupted repeatedly over several million years. Mountains that were high enough to reach from the deep sea bottom appeared as the Hawaiian Islands.
Volcanoes Cause & Effect

Example

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows cause and effect relationships in Volcanoes. Each cause and effect pair will be shown in the same row.


  1. On the left side of the T-Chart, illustrate events that show cause (why).
  2. On the right side of the T-Chart, illustrate events that are the direct effect of that cause.
  3. Write a description below each cause.
  4. In the description under each effect, show how the cause and effect are related.



Cause and Effect in Plot - Template

Example

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Relationship Between Scientific Concepts | Volcano Activity

In this activity, students will identify the relationship between scientific concepts about volcanic activity and our world.

The example explains the relationship between volcanic eruptions and current topography of Hawaii.

  • The Hawaiian Islands were formed by eruptions in the middle of the Pacific Plate.
  • Hawaii is constantly changing; the eruptions of the Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcanoes add hundreds of acres of new land.
  • Old lava flows are quickly weathered by waves into rocks and black sand.
  • Depending on the type of eruption, cooled lava can create a rough tangle of sharp rocks or a smooth, billowy surface.
Volcanoes - Scientific Relationships

Example

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Summarize the Text

Having students track the important details of a book is an exceptional way help them follow and remember it’s contents. Students retain these important details and can focus on their significance within and outside the text.

  • Volcanoes got its name from the early Romans who believed in Vulcan, a god of fire.
  • Volcanic eruptions can cause great destruction.
  • Volcanoes erupt in places where the plates meet in the Earth’s crust.
  • Volcanic eruptions can create new islands and landforms.
  • Extinct volcanoes will not erupt again; dormant volcanoes are likely to erupt again.
Volcanoes - Summarize the Text

Example

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Figurative Language


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Despite being a nonfiction text, Volcanoes contains figurative language, including personification and similes. In this activity, students can display their understanding of figurative language by identifying examples, and creating a literal or figurative portrayal of the figurative language.

  • “In March 1980, Mount St. Helens awakened from its long sleep.”
  • “The force of the eruption was so great that entire forests were blown down like a row of matchsticks.”
  • “Earth’s crust is broken into huge sections like a giant cracked eggshell.”
Volcanoes - Figurative Language

Example

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows three examples of figurative language in [TITLE].


  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. Identify use of figurative language in the text.
  3. Put the type of figurative language (such as simile or metaphor) in the title box.
  4. Give an example from the text in the description box.
  5. Illustrate the example using using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.



3 Figurative Language Ex Template

Example

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•   (English) Volcanoes   •   (Español) Volcanes   •   (Français) Volcans   •   (Deutsch) Vulkane   •   (Italiana) Vulcani   •   (Nederlands) Vulkanen   •   (Português) Vulcões   •   (עברית) הרי געש   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) البراكين   •   (हिन्दी) ज्वालामुखियों   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Вулканы   •   (Dansk) Vulkaner   •   (Svenska) Volcanoes   •   (Suomi) Tulivuoret   •   (Norsk) Volcanoes   •   (Türkçe) Yanardağlar   •   (Polski) Wulkany   •   (Româna) Vulcani   •   (Ceština) Sopky   •   (Slovenský) Sopky   •   (Magyar) Vulkánok   •   (Hrvatski) Vulkani   •   (български) Вулканите   •   (Lietuvos) Ugnikalniai   •   (Slovenščina) Vulkani   •   (Latvijas) Vulkāni   •   (eesti) Vulkaanid