My unit is divided into five sections, with an activity corresponding to each section. I feel the students will not only learn information about volcanoes, but they will remember this unit for a very long time because of the hands-on activities that are incorporated. With a visual and hands-on approach the students will not feel as if I’m lecturing to them. One modification that is helpful to special education students, with general education students also benefiting, is a hands-on approach. The first section which I call, “Ring of Fire” will allow both the students and myself the opportunity to explore and learn about how a volcano erupts, what are the types of volcanoes, where are they located and what happens after the eruption occurs. We will participate in a variety of inquisitive discussions and research through books, internet and library visits. This basic background information will assist me and my students with the ability to complete the activities at the end of the unit.
My second section is called “Volcabulary” (Volcano and Vocabulary together!). Students can learn more about volcanoes if they have a clear understanding of the vocabulary words they will encounter when reading, researching or having an oral discussion with the teacher. These vocabulary words and definitions will allow my students with information about volcanoes, to analyze volcanoes and their function on Earth. Following this section, the students will produce their very own vocabulary puzzle and then share them with their classmates. It will be interesting to see the words that students deem most important.
The third section of this unit allows students to make a connection by obtaining vital information about a real volcano, Mount Vesuvius, in Pompeii Italy. By connecting to one specific volcano and obtaining vital information about the past and present history of this amazing eruption, students will develop a clear understanding of the chaos and destruction that occurred during this event. Two historical fiction books called, “Vacation Under the Volcano”, A Magic Tree House book and “Pompeii”, an Usborne Young Reading book will be utilized during our Shared Reading.
Section four is a hands-on activity providing students with the opportunity to make a volcano and watch it erupt! Utilizing the information the students have gained over the five week lesson, students will make their own volcano, name it and explain to the class the phenomenon that occurs. Students will have the option of explaining their volcanic eruption orally or in written form.
This last section is mainly for the Davis Street Arts and Academic curriculum. We are a Magnet School that embraces the Arts, Music and Band instruction. This unit will have a section to incorporate art and music. My students will learn the song, “Ring of Fire”by Johnny Cash! In addition to the music, students will also participate in artists activities.
I hope that this unit will encourage students to continue with their education. I hope to inspire them to one day become a scientist, or a volcanologist, even a seismologists or scientists that study earthquakes. With a combination of research and hands-on activities, students will feel they have accomplished something and successfully participated in a unit that they can then remember for the rest of their lives.