My Very Own Volcano?

Contributor: Kaitlyn Zimmerman. Lesson ID: 12806

You may be used to working with models of things like cars, trucks, buildings, and robots. Did you ever think making a model of a mountain could be fun? How about a model mountain that's a bit messy?


Earth Science

learning style
personality style
Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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When you think about it, volcanoes are strange and kind of scary! A water fountain is one thing, but a mountain spitting out melted rock is pretty wild and fascinating!

You can make a (safe!) model of one if you read on!

Imagine that you are hiking up a mountain with your family.

Before you go farther on your hike, you notice that there are some bits of ash coming from the top of the mountain. You finally realize that you are hiking up a volcano!

Terrified, you begin to run in the opposite direction, but your family stops you and tells you that you are okay because some volcanoes release ash all the time. That means you may not be in danger of hot lava releasing from the volcano.

Relieved, you are very interested in learning more about volcanoes!

Start by watching Volcanoes for Kids | A fun and engagin introduction to volcanoes for children from Clarendon Learning:

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A volcano is a hill or mountain that has an opening that goes down under the earth. Pressure builds up on the inside, and the hot melted rock under the surface comes out. It can come out in an explosion or more slowly.

When it's in the earth, the hot melted rock is called magma. When it comes out on the surface, it's called lava. When lava hardens, it forms another layer of rock around the volcano.

This drawing shows what goes on inside (and outside) of a volcano:


Most volcanoes form where tectonic plates meet.

These plates are big pieces of the earth's crust. When they run into each other or pull apart, sometimes magma from under the earth gets squeezed up.

tectonic plates

  • Did you know that not all volcanoes are found on land?

In fact, most of the volcanoes in our world are found underwater!

Just like the volcanoes we see on land, underwater volcanoes are able to create magma and erupt producing lava! An underwater eruption!

Volcanoes are a truly amazing part of our world! Let's join Dr. Jo to see what she knows about volcanoes:

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Hike on over to the Got It? section to create your model and dive deeper into volcanoes . . . oops . . . study them more closely from afar!

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