Lesson Plan

Exploring & Tracking Volcanoes

Students will explore and track volcano patterns across the world
Christi C.
Classroom teacher
Wise Primary School
Wise, United States
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My Grades 2
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies


Earth Patterns, Cycles and Changes

Virginia Standards of Learning:  

2.1-The student will demonstrate an understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science by planning and conducting investigations

2.6-The student will investigate and understand basic types, changes, and patterns of weather.

          a) identification of common storms and other weather phenomena;

          b) the uses and importance of measuring, recording, and interpreting weather

           data; and

          c) the uses and importance of tracking weather data over time.

2.7-The student will investigate and understand that weather and seasonal changes affect plants, animals and their surroundings

           b) weathering and erosion of land surfaces.

NGSS:  2nd grade Earth Science

Earth’s Systems:  Processes that Shape the Earth

2-ESS1-1: Use information from several sources to provide evidence that Earth events can occur quickly or slowly.

Grades 2
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Materials needed:

  • Popplet:  https://popplet.com/ (Optional sign-up, no sign-up required to use for this activity)
  • Mystery Science website:  http://mysteryscience.com/(teacher sign-up required before completing this activity)
  • paper, pencils


  1. Begin the lesson by dividing students into pairs and asking the essential question:  Could a volcano pop-up in your backyard?  
  2. Each paired group will write down what they think on the paper provided and give an explanation of why they think this way.  
  3. Once students have answered the essential question, go to the Popplet website and create a mind map.  
  4. Add the essential question in the center and begin adding students responses in additional bubbles until each group’s answers are recorded.  
  5. Discuss everyone’s answers before proceeding to the lesson in Mystery Science.


2 Direct Instruction

Materials needed:

  1. Log-in to the Mystery Science website and click on 2nd grade units. Then click on the lesson titled, The Birth of Rocks.
  2. Begin Mystery #1 by clicking on the essential question that was answered at the beginning of the activity.  When you are ready to begin, click the “Start Mystery” button.  
  3. Students will begin by watching the video provided to learn more about volcanoes and view a true story of a volcano that erupted in Mexico.  
  4. Once the video is over, ask students to rethink their responses that were written on paper and typed into the Popplet.  
  5. Then continue on to the next video to provide students with additional information regarding the story in the first video.  
  6. Once students have watched the second video, they will be ready to complete the Mapping Volcanoes Activity sheets with a partner.


3 Guided Practice

Materials needed:

  • Mystery Science website:  http://mysteryscience.com/
  • Mapping Volcanoes Activity Sheets (1 set of 4 maps for each paired group)
  • pencils, red pencils (1 of each for each paired group)
  • tape


  1. Students will work with a partner to complete the Mapping Volcanoes Activity sheets provided on the Mystery Science website, a pencil and a red pencil.
  2. Continue to the Mapping Volcanoes Activity by pressing play.  This will guide students through the mapping activity.
  3. Proceed through the mapping activities until students have completed all four maps that were provided.
  4. Once students have completed the mapping activities for all four maps, provide each group with the Volcano Discovery Sheet to complete.  
  5. Next, go to each group and tape their maps together to make one large map of the world.  
  6. Then discuss the questions provided in Step 10 of the Lesson with the class.  
  7. After discussing, students will watch the next video to better understand how the pattern of volcanoes shown in their world maps forms what is called, the "Ring of Fire”.  
  8. After viewing the video, discuss the following questions provided and watch the final video explaining about extinct volcanoes and the discovery of basalt.


4 Independent Practice

Materials needed:

  • Mystery Science website:  http://mysteryscience.com/
  • Mystery #1 Assessment (1 copy per student)can be downloaded and copied prior to the lesson from the Activity Prep section of this lesson in Mystery Science 


To demonstrate individual mastery and understanding of the concepts taught, provide students with the Mystery #1 Assessment to complete individually as a knowledge check of the lesson.


5 Wrap-Up

Materials needed:

  • Quiver:  http://quivervision.com/
  • Quiver 3D Volcano coloring sheets (1 copy per student)
  • Download the free Quiver app for either your iOS or Android device prior to this activity.  

  • Go to the Quiver website and download the free volcano coloring sheet listed under the Quiver Education Starter pack.  Make copies of this sheet for every student.


  1. To wrap-up the lesson in a fun and exciting way, hand-out the Volcano augmented reality coloring sheets that work with the Quiver app.  
  2. Ask students to color the sheet and tell them that once they have colored their volcanoes, they will be able to see their volcanoes come to life.  
  3. Use the Quiver app on your device to scan the coloring sheets and provide students with a 3-Dimensional view of their volcanoes.