Lesson Plan

Understanding Volcanoes and Their Hazards

Students will learn the characteristics of each of the four most common types of volcanoes and become familiar with the dangers that are associated with an erupting volcano.
Clint W.
Classroom teacher
Williams Township
Show More
My Grades 7, 8
My Subjects Social Studies

At the conclusion of this lesson the students will be able to differentiate between the four most common types of volcanoes, identify some of the main hazards associated with volcanoes, and create a visual representation of an erupting volcano.

Grades 6 – 8
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes


Teachers, you can start this lesson by showing this short video, which by the end will definitely grab the students attention and leave them excited to learn more about their upcoming lesson on volcanoes and the hazards that can result from these volcanoes.

Analysis: This video would fall under (TCK) from the TPACK Model and Understand from Bloom's Digital Taxonomy.  This visual effects that from this animated video allows the students to visualize and understand how  the magma from volcanoes form deep below the earth's surface and follows its journey onto the surface, demonstrating the destruction that can result from this process. 

Student Instructions

Watch this short video on volcanoes, this video will give you a great overview of the exciting lesson on volcanoes and their hazards, that we are starting.


Teachers, for the direct instruction, I have put together a Google Slides presentation which will help the students learn the main characteristics of the four most common volcanoes.  There are pictures in this presentation for each type of volcano mentioned, which will help the students visualize and differentiate between them.  The last few slides will list and portray the various hazards that are brought on by these fascinating structures.

After the presentation, you can show the class this video, which focuses on the slow-moving flow of the lava and how it can destroy most anything that it comes in contact with.  This should give the students a better understanding of precautions that people have to take when living near active volcanoes.

Analysis: The Google slides presentation represents the  the ISTE for Teachers (#2 Design and develop digital age learning experiences and assessments) along with (TCK) from the TPACK Model.  I have taken my content knowledge of the subject matter and applied technology from Google slides to help create a more authentic learning experience for the students in a way that will help them visualize and understand the characteristics that make these volcanoes different.

Analysis: The Lava Flow video represents Substitution from the SAMR Model Understand and from Bloom's Digital Taxonomy, because the students are gaining a visual understanding from watching the video and seeing how the people who live near volcanoes have to take certain precautions when preparing for the eruption of volcanoes, rather than reading about this material in a textbook.

Student Instructions

Watch this video, pay close attention to the precautions that have to be made once the lava starts flowing from the erupted volcano.  Think of some other precautions that we would have to take if we lived closer to a volcano, that are not shown in the video.


Teachers, for the guided practice, ask the students to navigate to the Discovery Kids website for the Volcano Explorer exercise, using their individual technological device.  Give the students about ten minutes to explore this interactive exercise.  They will be able to work through four different activities, which will give them a more hands on perspective relating to the information that the students just learned during the direct instruction. 

After the students have become familiar and worked through their volcano explorer exercise, you can introduce the Science Bob website to the students. Click on the "Experiments" tab, then click on "Make your own Volcano" Show the video to the class, on how to make a volcano, this is an experiment that Bob the Scientists demonstrates.  

Analysis: the Science Bob website represents Substitution from the SAMR Model and Remember  from Bloom's Digital Taxonomy, instead of the student reading about how to do an experiment from a book, they can see a real scientists demonstrate the experiment which can stand out in their mind and help them remember this in the future.

Analysis: the Volcano Explorer interactive website represents Augmentation from the SAMR Model and Apply from Bloom's Digital Taxonomy in that the students are not only substituting this information from a textbook, they are able to go a step further and interact, changing the amount of gas and viscosity to make the volcano change types and  have different eruption outcomes based on the selections from the students. 

Student Instructions

Using your technological device, navigate to the Discovery Kids website for the Volcano Explorer exercise.  You will find an interactive exercise that will allow you to learn more about the different types of volcanoes and how each look from the inside.  Be sure to try the Virtual Volcano exercise, where you can set the conditions of the gas and viscosity (thickness) of the lava to see which type of volcano goes along with your selection.  You will also be able to see which eruption style goes with your selections.  Try testing the conditions at each level to see how many different types and eruption styles you can come up with.  You can also use this tool as an interactive study guide.

Become familiar with the Science Bob website on your device, click on the  "Experiments" tab, then click on "Make your own Volcano" and watch Science Bob as he demonstrates the steps you will need to follow to make your own volcano.


Teachers, for the independent practice portion of the lesson plan, the students will take the information from the volcano explorer and Science Bob websites and make their own volcano demonstration similar to Science Bob, as a homework assignment.  The students will video themselves (or have help from a friend or parent) creating their own volcano.  They should be encouraged to try different materials to show different types of eruptions, that were learned previously in this lesson. Please note that there is a list of possible "safe" materials provided on the Science Bob  volcano page.  The students can upload their video presentations to Schooltube, a much cleaner, kid friendly version of YouTube.  As the teacher, you can have your account set up through your school, and you we be the one who view's the presentation and approves it to be posted on your site so the other students will be able to view collectively once you have allowed them to be published.  This helps keep the material that is posted, clean as well as aids in the privacy aspect of posting video's.

Analysis: The assignment that the students will be performing will fall under the ISTE for Students (#1. Creativity and Innovation), (#2. Communicate and Collaboration) and Apply in Bloom's Digital Taxonomy. The students will apply previous knowledge to generate new ideas, interact, collaborate, and publish their presentations with their classmates.

Student Instructions

Now comes the fun part, you finally get to make your own volcano.  Take the information you have learned thus far, and use it to make a video presentation of yourself making your volcano.  Think of materials that can be substituted or used in conjunction with the typical baking soda and vinegar, to give your volcano one of the eruption styles that you have learned about in the lesson. Think of ways that you can change the speed of the lava for example, is there anything that you can add to the volcano to make it thicker or something that may make it flow faster?  Please make sure that the material you use is SAFE, and have an adult to assist with picking out alternative materials.  Once you have made your video presentation, you can upload to our class account on the website Schooltube.  Please be as creative as you want, but be safe!  We will review each of your presentations in class, and you will have a chance to discuss, ask questions to your classmates, an give feedback.  Remember to be creative but have fun with your ideas.


Free, Paid

Teachers, once you feel that the students have had adequate time to complete their presentation assignment and you have viewed each one in class, allow the students a chance to collaborate and give feedback to each other, on their presentation assignments.

Analysis: Quizlet represents Augmentation from the SAMR Model and Remember from Bloom's Digital Taxonomy because the students will be making and sharing their own flashcards online and will be able to use their cards along with their classmates' flashcards to quiz themselves and prepare for their exam on this lesson.

Student Instructions

Once you have turned in and reviewed your presentations with your teacher and classmates, you can start reviewing all of the information that we have covered in this lesson, through an app. called Quizlet.  This is a great way to review for test, you can study digital flashcards that have been created by someone else and/or create your own flash cards to study or share with others.  For this lesson review assignment, please create at least ten (10) flash cards based on the information that you have learned in this lesson and share with at least two (2) of your classmates.