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Child Study Center

Center of Excellence for Early Childhood Learning & Development

volcanoes

children search for volcanoes online

The children are very interested in volcanoes since we have been singing the song, ‘The Lava Song.’ The teachers wanted to know what the Ladybugs knew about volcanoes, so a KWL chart was developed (K=what you know; W=what you want to know; and L=what you have learned). Here is what the children know:

Gage, Emerson, and Mina: “They live on the water.”
Kieran: “They erupt!”
Quinn: “Fire comes out!”
Luca: “They have smoke in them and lava. We could get buried in ash!”
Bryn: “They hurt us and go down into the water. They’re hot!”
Leon: “Smoke!”
Abigail: “Big!”
Ms. Deb: “Some are called cinder cones.”

As the children considered their answer they painted pictures of volcanoes. These pictures were made into our first classroom book about volcanoes.

making volcano paintings

After looking through the books from the library, the teachers asked the children: “What else do you want to know about volcanoes?” Here are some of their questions and thoughts:

Leon: “Do volcanoes make an island?”
Stella: “Do volcanoes make lightning?”
Luca: “Lightning is a big spark.”
Bryn: “What do volcanologists think about volcanoes?”

We will begin to explore these questions further in our investigation.

paper mache volcano

The children created a classroom volcano using paper mache. Before we erupt our classroom volcano, the teachers asked: “What should we name our volcano?” Here are some of the names:

Luca: “Great Warrior”
Gage: “Mt. Trouble”
Anderson: “Mt. Estrobea”
Bryn: “Elopasta”
Stella: “Dancee”
Ms. Deb: “Mt. Kaboom”

The children had a vote and Mt. Kaboom had the most votes, so our classroom volcano is named Mt. Kaboom.

chart of volcano names

The children enjoy looking at the globe, so we got it down and talked about where we live and where volcanoes are located in our world. A map was placed on the wall. We placed stickers on the map to indicate the places where some of the volcanoes are located. Volcanoes were identified in California, Washington, Wyoming, Japan, New Zealand, Iceland, Philippines, Kenya, and Ethiopia.

child studies map

Ladybugs explore viscosity

Exploring the Viscosity of Lava

During one of our discussions about different types of volcanoes (cinder cones, composite, and shield), we discovered the magma inside and lava on the outside have certain viscosity levels (the measure of a fluid’s resistance to flow). So, the teachers helped the children understand what viscosity meant by using honey, syrup, and oil. They were able to feel the flow of the different liquids by moving containers of honey, syrup, and oil back and forth.

A dot of each liquid was placed on a tray. The children were asked which one they thought would reach the bottom first. Their scientific hypothesis of the oil being the first to the bottom was correct. Then we did it again, and we got the same answer. When asked which one won the children looked confused and said, “It wasn’t winning, it was the oil that was the fastest!”

viscosity experiment

 

A dot of each liquid was placed on a tray. The children were asked which one they thought would reach the bottom first. Their scientific hypothesis of the oil being the first to the bottom was correct. Then we did it again, and we got the same answer. When asked which one won the children looked confused and said, “It wasn’t winning, it was the oil that was the fastest!”

 

More learning about volcanoes!

 

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