The Eruptor

The Eruptor lesson plan

Natural phenomena are endlessly fascinating! Create a model of an erupting volcano and let off some steam.

  • 1.

    Research important facts about volcanoes. How do they erupt? What was the biggest eruption ever known? What famous cities have been buried under volcanoes?

  • 2.

    Where is the volcano nearest you? Pinpoint locations of volcanoes, active and dormant, on a world map. Why are they often found in clusters? Find photographs of erupting volcanoes. Note that some are islands, others are located inland.

  • 3.

    Use cardboard for a base upon which to make your model volcano. Mold Crayola® Model Magic into a mountain. Be sure to hollow out the center of the cone for the crater. Volcanoes often blow out one or more sides of the mountain when they erupt.

  • 4.

    You might blend red and black Model Magic to show the hot magma and lava streaming down the volcano. Press Model Magic together to seal seams when you join pieces.

  • 5.

    Blend blue and white Model Magic to form tidal waves and water surrounding the volcano. Or create green vegetation such as forests or fields if the volcano is inland.

  • 6.

    Add wisps of cotton balls to the top of your volcano to resemble steam.


  • Students research information about they are formed, why they erupt, and what changes take place after an eruption.
  • Students locate volcanoes on Earth and discover why certain areas are more likely to have eruptions than others.
  • Students create a model of an erupting volcano.


  • Provide an array of photographs or videos about volcanoes for children with special needs. If children prefer, encourage them to work with partners or in small groups.
  • Research what the inside of a volcano looks like. Create a cut-away model with Model Magic or draw it with Crayola Markers.
  • Create a large volcano, showing both the inside and the outside, on a large bulletin board. Label the various parts and list vocabulary words.
  • Research the eruption of Krakatoa on August 26, 1883. This Indonesian volcano created the biggest explosion in recorded history, with gigantic tidal waves.