Lava Layering: Making and Mapping a Volcano

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Resource Type:Classroom Activities; Curricula and Instruction
Grade Level:
5 6 7 8
Organization:NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Summary:The focus of this activity is on interpreting geologic history through volcano formation and excavation. Baking soda, vinegar and play dough are used to model fluid lava flows. Various colors of play dough identify different eruption events. Students will: construct a model of a volcano; produce lava flows; observe, draw, record, and interpret the history and stratigraphy of a volcano produced by other students; and make the connection between the life cycle of a volcano and why they see these features on Earth and Mars.
Earth Science Big Ideas:Big Idea 8
NGSS Discplinary Core Ideas:ESS1.C; ESS2.A; ESS2.B
NGSS Performance Expectations:4-ESS1-1; 4-ESS2-1; 4-ESS2-2; MS-ESS2-2
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:Analyzing and interpreting data; Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering); Planning and carrying out investigations
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation; Patterns; Scale, proportion, and quantity
Subjects: 6-8; geologic heritage; geology; geoscience; history; middle school; volcano
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