Sunday, November 4, 2012

Volcanoes!

Hello! I am still alive over here in third grade land.  First of all, I love, love, love third grade!!  However, my blogging was brought to a standstill because I have been SOOO busy with my new grade level!
However, I am working on my Volcano unit to tie all kinds of objectives together.  In third grade science, we have volcanoes, mountains, valleys, canyons, caverns, and islands. In reading we are studying informational text, and working on comparing/contrasting scientific ideas.  My grade level decided to use the basal story about volcanoes to do this (since it is compare and contrast) and then also do volcano research. 
I do not focus my teaching in reading on one story like that because I use Guided Reading and Daily 5.  The volcano story is great for volcanoes, but it is also a 4.8 level... and we are only just starting the second quarter of third grade. It is definitely not appropriate for all students! 
But, I digress....
I am using other informational text in my reading groups, but for science we are going to focus on volcanoes like everyone else! We will be doing volcano research to create volcano books, where we focus on creating non-fiction text features, and having a clear topic sentence and supporting details for each paragraph.  I am going to post my templates to create a volcano book on my teachers pay teachers site!  If anyone actually reads this, and responds, I will send it to the first 5 people for free!  :)

Also, I am putting together a series of lab demonstrations and lab note sheets as well.  This is what made me most excited!  Here are my plans so far:

1.  Lava Lab - using chocolate and marshmellows to demonstrate how rock melts into magma, comes out of the earth as lava, and cools into rock.  Which of course.. then we get to eat!

2.  Viscosity of Lava Demonstration - This one was a tough one to think about.  I wanted my kids to understand that it is the amount of silica gas (and if they just know that it is the amount of gas, I will be happy) that determines how explosive the eruption would be.  So, I came up with the idea of using a soda bottle!
First, we will take a new, unopened 20 oz soda bottle and talk about how there is gas in it.  This is our example of a volcano where there is a lot of sillica, that traps the gas in the bottle which means it has a high viscosity. Then we will open it up and watch the explosion! 
Then, we will use a second 20 oz soda bottle, and talk about how in a low viscosity example there is not a lot of silica and that allows the gas to escape.  We will shake up our bottle, and then open it a little and close it back up.  Repeating that a few times to let the gas escape.  Then when we finally open it up, the soda will still come out the top... only not so explosively! 

3.  The age old volcano lab.. this one is not quite as exciting!

Any other ideas?

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