volcanoes and earthquakes

Hot Rocks Mini-Lesson

Objective: Students will review hot spots and learn about the different kinds of lava that flow from active volcanoes.

Suggested Time: 15 minutes

Reading Level: Upper Elementary

Teacher Background

Volcanoes erupt red-hot lava. Sometimes the lava oozes gently from a hole in the ground. At other times it is thrown into the air MORE

Subscribe to TeacherVision to read the full Teacher Background.

Already a subscriber? Sign In.

Print or Project

  1. A Visual Overview: Show the slideshow of photos to your class. Each has a descriptive caption and kid-friendly copy for your students to read. (Please note that there is also more extensive teacher note copy just for you.)
  2. Creative Caption Review: Once you've been through the slideshow for an overview, go back through it again. This time ask students to explain why the captions do (or do not!) work. (Example: Is it a good idea to label the photo of the volcanologist as "Spaced-Out Suit?" Why or why not?)

Click the thumbnail slides below to see the captions and kid-friendly copy up close.

  1. Continue the Conversation: Sometimes volcano flows are referred to as "bulldozers." Ask students why this might be a good word to describe the lava's action. Ask them to suggest words that might describe other aspects of a lava flow. Cue them to think about heat, speed, and color.
  2. Write about it: Ask students to write a publicity trailer for a movie about volcanoes that will be called "River of Lava." Encourage them to use descriptive language that would entice people to come see the show.

Extension Activities

Reinforcements: These worksheets will be useful as you further develop your teaching unit. The Word Power worksheet will give your students vocabulary practice with key terms from this mini-lesson and the related activity will help reinforce key concepts on volcanoes and earthquakes.


Word Power Vocabulary
Grade: 4 - 6
Students practice vocabulary relevant to volcanoes and lava by using each defined word in a sentence.



Volcano Facts
Grade: 3 - 5
Students puzzle out new facts about volcanoes by completing arithmetic problems.



Excerpted from:

Eyewitness: Volcano & Earthquake

Discover the power of volcanoes and earthquakes, from hot spots to tsunamis, in this visually-stunning guide.

Receive 20% off your DK purchase with promo code DKCLIP.


If you need to teach it, we have it covered.

Start your free trial to gain instant access to thousands of expertly curated worksheets, activities, and lessons created by educational publishers and teachers.

Start Your Free Trial

Follow us on:

Follow TeacherVision on Facebook
Follow TeacherVision on Google Plus