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BLAST Elementary
National Geographic Kids: Volcanoes!


National Geographic Kids: Volcanoes
by Anne Schreiber



Vocabulary Matching

This book has a TON of content specific vocabulary words so it would be great to let those words guide the student reading. You can lead your students in a vocabulary matching activity using a poster that lists all of the words and small paper squares with a matching description on each.

To start, introduce the students to the words they will encounter in the book by briefly reading the words on the poster. Then, give each student (or students could work in pairs) a paper square with a 1-2 sentence description. The students are responsible for matching their description to the correct word on the board. Encourage them to listen carefully during the read aloud to make a correct match.

If you can get enough copies of the book, give the students some time to explore the book independently (or in pairs).


Vocabulary Words

  • Matching Answer Key

    These are the words and descriptions we used for the vocabulary matching activity:

  • Aa—very sharp mound of volcanic rock
    caldera—a crater that is formed when the top of a volcano caves in
    cone volcano—a volcano with straight sides and tall, steep slopes
    Crater Lake—a deep, clear lake in Oregon formed when the top of Mount Mazama collapsed after an explosion over 6,000 years ago
    eruption—when ash and steam spray out of a volcano and hot melted rock called lava pours out
    Iceland—a huge island formed about 60 million years ago by an underwater volcano
    lava—magma that comes out of the Earth
    magma—thick, liquid melted rock
    magma chamber—a space deep underground filled with melted rock
    Mauna Loa—a shield volcano found in Hawaii
    Mid-Atlantic Ridge—the longest mountain range on Earth, most of which is underwater
    Mount Etna—a stratovolcano found in Italy
    Olympus Mons—the largest volcano in our solar system, found on Mars

  • Pahoehoe—smooth rope-like volcanic rock formed when fast, hot, liquid lava hardens
    Paricutin—a cone volcano in Mexico that erupted for nine years and was almost as high as the Empire State Building when it stopped
    Pele’s Hair—super thin and long strands of volcanic glass
    plates—the huge, moving pieces of land that fit Earth like a puzzle
    Pumice—volcanic rock with gas trapped inside, making the rock so light, it can float on water
    Ring of Fire—the region where many of Earth’s earthquakes and volcanoes happen because the Pacific plate is grinding into the plates around it
    shield volcano—a gently sloping volcano formed from hot, liquid lava flows
    stratovolcano—a volcano made up of many layers of lava, rock and ash
    Surtsey—a volcanic island near Iceland that was formed about 50 years ago
    tsunami—large ocean waves created by events like earthquakes and landslides
    vent—any opening in Earth’s surface where magma and other volcanic materials come out
    Vulcan—a Roman god of fire and iron, the word volcano comes from this name
    Yellowstone National Park—an ancient caldera that is one of the biggest supervolcanoes on Earth


National Geographic Kids

National Geographic Kids Video: Volcanoes 101

Volcano Information


Journal Questions

  • What is 1 thing you already knew about volcanoes? What are 3 new things you learned today about volcanoes?
  • Imagine you are witnessing a volcanic eruption. What are some words you could use to describe it? Try to think of as many as you can!

Extending Books

A Project Guide to Volcanoes
by Claire O'Neal

Part of the series: Earth Science Projects for Kids





by Sally M. Walker

Explores what volcanoes are and how they can be both harmful and helpful to human beings.



Into the Volcano: A Graphic Novel

by Don Wood

While their parents are away doing research, brothers Duffy and Sumo Pugg go with their cousin, Mister Come-and-Go, to Kokalaha Island, where they meet Aunt Lulu and become trapped in an erupting volcano. Presented in comic book format.