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This lesson is on Volcanic Eruptions and involves creating a Volcano in class




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   Science Is A Volcanic Eruption!
Earth Science Experiment
by: Jeanne Ohnemus

*Large table or flat surface

*Newspaper or a large plastic mat (this will get messy)

*Sand or dirt (a large bag of potting soil worked well) (If you want to get real spendy, use playdough)

*Water (about one and a half measuring cup full)

*Vinegar (a new bottle, you’ll use it all)

*Large cookie sheet, washbasin, or large dishpan

*Dishwashing liquid (one full measuring cup, concentrated brand)

*Bottle of red food coloring (a new bottle, you’ll use it all)

*Distilled water container(1 gallon) or well-rinsed 1 gallon milk container (DON’T THROW THE LID AWAY YOU’LL NEED IT)

*Baking soda (a new box, you’ll use it all)

*OPTIONAL: One large funnel

Step 1: You may want to assign students to bring some items such as a newspaper or plastic mat, sand or dirt, vinegar, cookie sheet or washbasin or dishpan, one cup of dishwashing liquid, red food coloring, distilled or milk gallon container, and baking soda. This will make it easier on you as far as purchasing the materials is concerned. I did this with my homeschool student so all I had him bring was vinegar because I did not have any at the time.

Step 2: You may want to assign yourself to make the volcano or draw a name or let whoevers birthday is the closest to the time you are doing the experiment. My homeschool student didn’t like how I was making the volcano so I let him (what a mess!) Assigning someone may eliminate this struggle. Also assign who will put the ingredients in the volcano as they arise.

Step 3: Lay down the newspaper/plastic mat, lay the sheet on top of the newspaper, and place the gallon container in the middle of the sheet. Dump about half of the sand/dirt around the gallon container. Begin shaping the volcano by adding small amounts of water to the sand/soil and to your hands. Add sand/soil as needed to cover the gallon container to where the lid will be eventually screwed on.

Step 4: Pour into the container (this is where you may want to use the funnel) the cup of dishwashing liquid, about a cup and a half of water, the bottle of food coloring, and then 3/4 of the baking soda. Screw the lid onto the gallon container but not too tight!

Step 5: Ask your students what they think will happen when you add the “smelly” vinegar. (I made a list of possible things my homeschool student suggested. You would maybe want to draw a quick bar chart on the board that shows how many students think each suggestion they have made.?)

Step 6: Unscrew the lid and pour in about 3/4 of the vinegar and watch it go! (I took pictures of the volcano erupting and my homeschool students facial expressions!)

Step 7: (Who was right?) Have the students compare all of the materials that went into making the volcano to a real life active volcano. Would a “dormant” volcano have done what the one just created did?

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