My Mouth is a Volcano Activities for Kids

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

Julia Cook's book, 'My Mouth is a Volcano' is a great story about a boy who has a tendency to interrupt others when they are talking. Written for lower elementary students, this book provides a lesson in patience and learning how to wait for a turn.

My Mouth is a Volcano

Teaching students how to be polite and not to interrupt others can be a difficult task. By reading My Mouth is a Volcano, teachers can open dialogue and help students learn this important skill. The following activities have been developed to accompany this cleverly written book and help students solidify their understanding of good manners along with other interesting and necessary skills.

Motions for Second Read

Several parts of this fun book lend themselves to the use of motions. For example, when Louis' tummy starts to rumble, students might rub their tummies. Use this activity to make a second reading of My Mouth is a Volcano even more engaging.

  • After reading the story through a first time, talk about the parts of the story for which motions might be fun to use. Some examples might include:
    • ''My tummy started to rumble, and then it started to grumble.''
    • ''My words begin to wiggle, and then they did the giggle.''
    • ''My tongue pushed all my very important words into my teeth.'
    • ''My volcano erupted!''
    • ''...bite down hard and don't let them out.''
    • ''...take a deep breath and push your words out through your nose.''
    • '''...take a deep breath and breathe the back into your mouth.''
  • As a class, create motions to accompany each of these parts of the book.
  • Next, read the book a second time.
  • This time through, encourage students to use the motions that you have created to help tell the story.

Apology Letter

Louis learns an important lesson about not interrupting others when they are talking. During the book, he interrupts several people including his teacher, his parents, and even classmates. In this activity, have students consider what Louis might say if he were to write an apology letter to one of these people.

Materials: writing paper, pencil (crayons for drawing a picture optional)

  • As a group, talk about the different people that Louis did interrupt in the book.
  • Next, talk about how his interruptions might have made people feel.
  • Discuss the idea of writing a letter to one of these people to apologize for interrupting.
  • Give each student writing paper and a pencil.
  • Demonstrate for students how to begin the letter with ''Dear ...''
  • Talk about what might go into the body of the letter.
    • Apologize for interrupting.
    • Acknowledge how it probably made that person feel.
    • Explain what might be done differently next time.
  • Allow time for students to write their letters. Offer assistance as needed.
  • Once finished, demonstrate for students how to sign the letter using Louis' name.
  • If time allows, let students also draw a picture on their paper for the person to whom letter is addressed.
  • Let students read their completed letters to the class.

Talk it Out With a Partner

Learning good manners can be a group thing. Use this activity to help students think about using good manners.

  • Put students into pairs.
  • Give each pair a list of discussion questions:
    • What are manners?
    • What are some good manners we can show?
    • Why do we need to use good manners?
    • What happens when we do not use good manners?
  • Allow each pair to discuss the questions together. Give them 2-3 minutes to talk.
  • Next, rearrange students so that they have a different partner.
  • Repeat the activity so that students can share their thoughts and ideas with a new partner.
  • After a couple of times through the activity, pull students back as a whole group.
  • Allow for individual students to share what ideas they learned from their partners about showing good manners.

Erupting Words

In this story, Louis compares his need to say his important words to an erupting volcano. Use the image of a volcano to celebrate some fun words.

Materials: white construction paper, glue, crayons, small cut-outs of what look like drops of lava (about 6 for each student), pencils

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