Title of Lesson Plan: Introduction to Volcanoes

Brief Description of Lesson I:

     In this lesson, students will develop a basic understanding of volcanoes. Students will also watch a PowerPoint Presentation to learn about volcanoes.


Approximately 2  60-minute class periods

Content Standards Used/Unit Goals/Objectives Supported:

ESS-M-A3   investigating the characteristics of volcanoes and identifying zones where they may occur

Lesson Goals:

Students will identify and compare three types of volcanoes.

Lesson Objectives:

TLW understand that there are three types of volcanoes: shield volcanoes, cinder cones, and composite volcanoes.

TLW understand what each type of volcano produces when it erupts.

TLW understand that each type of volcano has a distinct shape.


Computers and Internet access for all students


1.       Review with students what they already know about volcanoes.

2.     Have students use research materials you have provided or the Internet to find a description and pictures of shield, cinder cones, and composite volcanoes.

-         A shield volcano is formed when a large amount of free-flowing lava, or molten rock, spills from a vent, or opening in the earth, and spreads widely. The lava gradually builds up a low, broad, dome-shaped mountain.

-         A cinder cone builds up when mostly ash erupts from a vent and falls to the earth around the vent. The accumulated ash forms a cone-shaped mountain that appears flat on top.

-         A composite volcano is formed when both lava and ash erupt from a vent. The materials pile up in alternate layers around the vent and form a cone-shaped mountain that comes to a point on top.

3.     Students will view PowerPoint explaining procedure for creating volcano model. Record notes in logbook.

4.     Divide class into groups to create a model volcano.

5.     Students will view compressed video to gain direction on erupting their model volcano. Record notes in logbook.

6.     Students will erupt their model volcanoes using baking soda, vinegar, and food coloring.


Model Volcano (100 points)

Quality of Notes in Logbook