Using Google Earth to Study the Basic Characteristics of Volcanoesby: Stacia Schipper and Stephen Mattox

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With the advent of Google Earth and the database of volcanoes supplied by the Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program, students can describe almost any volcano on Earth. In this article, the authors guide students to use tools in Google Earth to quantify the characteristics of continuously active volcanoes and synthesize the information to recognize shield volcanoes, strato-volcanoes, cinder cones, and lava domes.

Grades
  • Middle
Publication Date
11/1/2010

Community ActivitySaved in 169 Libraries

Reviews (6)
  • on Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:08 AM

Wow! What a wonderful comprehensive article about using Google Earth to study volcanoes. Lots of graphs to use, websites to help learn about Google Earth, and informative background material for teachers!

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Thu Oct 20, 2011 9:09 PM

I adapted this activity for my 6th grade science classroom. I had students focus on the name of the volcano, latitude, longitude, location, observations, and interesting facts. My students LOVED going on the virtual field trip around the world. I would highly recommend this tool for teaching volcanoes!

Erin Lawrence  (Raleigh, NC)
Erin Lawrence (Raleigh, NC)

  • on Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:06 PM

This is a well written article that appears to me to do a fabulous job of blending together science, mathematics, and technology! The article focuses on a hands-on activity to engage students and increase their understanding of Earth Science, particularly volcanism. The authors provide every resource an educator might need- from video clips to show to engage students, a list of twenty active volcanoes and their coordinates and other data, a well-planned lesson with student handouts that enables students to use Google Earth- which they love!- to locate and make measurements on various active volcanoes. Then they take this information and share it with the class, synthesize their findings using graphs that show various relationships, such as "height versus radius", and many other easy to follow instructions to make this activity successful with middle school students.

Dorian Janney  (Gaithersburg, MD)
Dorian Janney (Gaithersburg, MD)

  • on Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:45 PM

This article contains directions for an inquiry investigation on volcanoes. Students will use math and Google Earth to learn more about different types of volcanoes.

Kate Geer  (Louisville, CO)
Kate Geer (Louisville, CO)

  • on Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:44 PM

The article was very informative. I enjoyed the activity for volcanoes but I would have to modify it, if I want it to useful in my sixth grade class. It would be a great way to incorporate math into constructing different types of volcanoes.

Nikki T
Nikki T

  • on Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:44 PM

The article was very informative. I enjoyed the activity for volcanoes but I would have to modify it, if I want it to useful in my sixth grade class. It would be a great way to incorporate math into constructing different types of volcanoes.

Nikki Turner
Nikki Turner


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