Volcanic Eruptions: an interdisciplinary approach

Developed by ​Isla Simmons as part of the Geoscience Outreach course at the University of Edinburgh, this resource makes use of a variety of educational approaches to introduce learners to volcanoes and various aspects of geology.

There are four lessons in this resource (provided within a .zip file package) that lead on from one another.

Lesson 1: Volcano Experiments

The Lesson 1 Resource Pack contains instructions for carrying out three experiments that model different volcanic processes. There is a worksheet for each experiment for pupils to complete, containing instructions and questions. There is also a PowerPoint presentation that can be used at the beginning of the lesson to introduce the class to the topic. Teacher’s notes are included for the presentation and experiments. There are also two levels of worksheet included for the experiments to suit different levels of ability.

Lesson 2: ‘The Debate to Save Heimaey’

This lesson involves a story-telling element about the town of Heimaey, Iceland which faced a decision over whether to save their town or their harbour when a local volcano unexpectedly erupts. There is a debate element where learners will discuss this issue from different characters’ perspectives. There is a PowerPoint presentation to aid the story-telling element. There is also a creative writing element where learners write a postcard reflecting on their character’s experience of the eruption.

Lesson 3: Volcanic Eruption Research
During this lesson, pupils in groups research information to find facts about a historic volcanic eruption. The aim of the lesson is for each group to research information about their eruption, and to then present this information visually as a poster, and verbally as a presentation to the rest of the class. This lesson also contains a PowerPoint presentation on Volcanic Hazards and one on comparing Volcanoes and Earthquakes. Teacher’s notes on these presentations are included.

Lesson 4: Arthur’s Seat Field Trip

This field trip is the final lesson in the Living with Volcanoes series. It allows pupils to combine all the aspects they have learnt in the previous lessons in order to study an extinct volcano in their local area, while also providing the opportunity for outdoor learning.

Additional Material: Meet the Scientist
Also included in the resource is a ‘Meet the Scientist’ resource about the author of the resource who is currently a PhD students studying volcanoes. It includes a PowerPoint presentation of photos and text and a word document giving a brief biography of Isla Simmons.

Created as part of the School of Geosciences’ Outreach Programme, which allows students in their final year to work in partnership with a local school to develop a set of lesson plans.

The resource is provided on a CC BY 4.0 licence and has been uploaded to TES Connect which hosts a range of lesson materials for early years, primary, secondary, and special needs teaching.

Keywords: geography, people and environment, locational knowledge, EdUniOERGeo

Go to ‘Volcanic Eruptions: an interdisciplinary approach’ on TES Connect

Learn more about the GeoScience Outreach & Engagement Course


Image: Fissure eruption in Holurhraun (Iceland), 13. September 2014, by Joschen Bacher on Wikimedia Commons. CC BY 4.0