Volcano Activities & Games

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Studying volcanoes can be such a wonderful way to involve students in the excitement of science. This lesson offers some games and activities to make the most of your volcano unit.

Why Volcano Games and Activities?

For many students, the study of volcanoes can be one of the things that makes earth science exciting. Why detract from this by making your unit on volcanoes textbook-based? The more active learning you can have your students do, the more captivated they will become as burgeoning earth scientists. One way to get students active is by incorporating games and activities into your instruction. Activities and games are also great because they are often interactive, and students can learn more from listening to one another. Finally, activities and games help students work with different learning styles and modalities, so your instruction will be accessible to all students in your class.

Volcano Games

Chase the Lava

For this game, you will want your students to be outside or in the gym. Break your students into two teams. One team should be the volcano, and the other team should represent the lava. At the beginning of the game, your students are all in one cluster, but the lava have their eyes open and the volcano have their eyes shut. When you shout, 'Eruption!' The lava should disperse as far as they can around the gym. After five seconds, the volcano kids are allowed to open their eyes. They have one minute to tag as many lava kids as they can. Anyone who is tagged must be the volcano in the next round. By the end of several rounds, you will have a dormant volcano with no more lava!

Volcano Trivia

For this game, break your students into small groups. Each group is responsible for creating a set of trivia cards about volcanoes. Trivia cards should have a question on the front and an answer on the back. Once each group has created at least twenty cards, have them swap decks with a different group. The groups should distribute the cards evenly amongst themselves and take turns answering the trivia questions. Anyone who answers the question correctly gets to keep the card, and the person with the most cards at the end is the winner of the round.

Climb to the Top

Your students can work in small groups to design this game. Give each group a poster board to decorate with a picture of a volcano. They should turn it into a board game with different obstacles and goals along the way; the ultimate objective of the game should be climbing to the top of the volcano. The game should include trivia questions or activities pertaining to students' volcanic knowledge. Once the games are created, have students swap and play each other's games!

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