2014/2015. Posted by Barbara W.
This week in school we learned all about earth science, and how volcanos are formed. This was a great opportunity to teach English through Science in a creative way. Think back to your middle school lessons, and try to remember how it happens. Do you remember? The magma from the Earth’s upper mantel makes it’s way to the Earth’s surface. When the volcano erupts lava flows, and when the lava cools it helps to build the volcano. Now, imagine someone is teaching this to you in Spanish. That’s a bit how my kids feel every week. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to be taught science in another language, therefore I try and make each activity as entertaining as possible.
To help teach my Spanish students about volcanos we made baking soda and vinegar volcanos. They were a hit, and perfectly filled a 45 minute class.
Time: 45 minutes
- 2 cups flour
- Small container (such as a yogurt cup)
- 3 cups water
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dish detergent
- Red or orange food coloring
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- Pie pan or container with raised edges to hold the volcano
- Paper towels
Instructions: Have the students group into pairs, and give each a container for the volcano. Each pan should have the flour pre-measured. Next add 2/3 cup of water to each tray, and instruct the kids to mix the flour into a dough. This will be your volcano shape. The dough should be the consistency of play dough, so feel free to add more flour or water if it needs it. Next, place the yogurt container, or small container into the center of the volcano shape.
In the volcano fill the yogurt container halfway with water. Add 1 tablespoon dish detergent, 2 tablespoons baking soda, and food coloring. Once you add the vinegar the volcano will “explode” so don’t add it until everyone is ready!
Suggestions: I did this lesson twice with my classes, and both times we learned about volcanos before making the experiment. I would recommend going over the vocabulary related to volcanos and the vocabulary of the ingredients for the experiment. I also had each group add vinegar to their volcano one at a time with the class watching each. In the class each volcano was a different color, and the kids loved seeing which color the volcano would be when it exploded. Finally, make sure you have lots of time to clean up, and have a lot of paper towels handy. The experiment can definitely get messy!