In this all about volcanoes unit study, you’ll have lots of resources to teach your kids all about volcanoes. Also, be sure to grab a copy of the Let’s Study Volcanoes printable resource (it’s FREE). It pairs perfectly with this blog post. Now let’s learn all about volcanoes!
All About Volcanoes Unit Study
What are volcanoes?
A volcano is a break in the outer shell of a terrestrial body (such as planets or moons). This break allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gas to escape from the magma chamber below. On Earth, volcanoes often mostly appear underwater or anywhere tectonic plates diverge or converge.
The main parts of the volcano include magma chambers, ducts, vents, craters, and slopes. There are four types of volcanoes: cinder cones, composite volcanoes, shield volcanoes, and lava domes.
The word volcano comes from the name Vulcan, the god of fire in Roman mythology. The study of volcanoes is called volcanology. It is sometimes spelled vulcanology.
Facts About Volcanoes
- A volcano is a mountain that opens downwards and reaches a pool of lava below the earth’s surface.
- During an eruption, gas and rocks shoot out through openings and overflow (fill) the air with lava fragments.
- The danger space around a volcano covers a 20-mile radius.
- Numerous volcanic eruptions shaped the ocean floor and a few mountains.
- More than 80 percent of the Earth’s surface is volcanic.
- The minerals present in volcanic ash help to make the land very fertile.
Use these facts, and those found in the free printable pack, as copywork. This is a great way to help your younger learners get handwriting practice and your older ones remember fascinating facts. These facts can also be used as research prompts.
Parts of a Volcano
Ash Cloud – This is the cloud of ash formed by volcanic explosions. Ashes are fragments of lava or rock smaller than 2 mm in size that are blasted into the air by volcanic explosions.
Crater – This is the mouth of a volcano – it surrounds a volcanic vent. It is typically a bowl-shaped feature within which contains either multiple vents or a singular vent.
Tephra – These are all pieces of all fragments of rock ejected into the air by an erupting volcano. Most tephra falls back onto the slopes of the volcano, enlarging it.
Throat – This is the entrance of a volcano—the part of the conduit that ejects lava and volcanic ashes.
Lava flow – This is molten rock that erupts from a volcano and solidifies as it cools. A lava flow is an outpouring of lava
created during an effusive eruption. Explosive eruptions produce a mixture of volcanic ash and tephra rather than
The main vent – This is the channel through which magma travels to reach the Earth’s surface.
A layer of ash – This adds to the side of the volcano as lava leaves the side vent.
Bedrock – This is the layer just above the magma reservoir. That is why when a volcano erupts; it also pushes big rocks
Magma – This is molten rock beneath Earth’s surface. A magma reservoir is a partially or wholly molten rock region
with varying proportions of melt, crystals, and exsolved volatiles.
Famous Volcanoes Around the World
There are many famous volcanoes found all around the world. Below are a few videos showcasing some of the biggest, most eruptive ones to date.
Mount Fuji, Japan
Orsono Volcano, Chile
Mayon Volcano Philippines
Must-Try Volcano Experiments
Below are a few experiments you can try at home. They are fun and something the entire family can join in on:
- Apple Volcano Science Experiment
- Underwater Volcano in a Jar
- Surprisingly Easy Homemade Volcano
- Colorful Rainbow Volcanoes
- Ice Cream Volcano
Free Let’s Study Volcanoes Printable Pack
As I mentioned earlier, I have a free volcanoes unit study pack for you. You’ll find some of the information shared above, plus a lot more. The pack includes the following pages:
- All About Volcanoes
- Facts About Volcanoes
- Volcano Parts Identification
- Types of Volcanoes
- Pictures of Famous Volcanoes Around the World
- Labeling Chart
- Description Template
- Story Writing
- Maze Puzzle
This is a totally free resource! Grab it below.