First Grade Bubbles with Excitement over Volcanos

It was an eruption of laughter, cheers and fun from first-grade volcano scientists in Ms. Clark’s class at Matthew Paterson Elementary School.

The excitement was bubbling throughout a recent lesson on rocks and volcanoes, during which students created and painted a paper mâché volcano in the classroom. The end goal: to make it erupt!

Class photo in front of the erupted paper mache volcano

Before the eruption proceedings began, the students reviewed their knowledge of different types of rocks: igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic.

Igneous rocks are formed “when a volcano erupts,” said Layla E.

Sedimentary rocks are formed “when all of the minerals in the water squish together and turn into a rock,” said Hunter B.

Metamorphic rocks are created through extremely elevated temperatures and pressure. There was no pressure on our students – they excelled in the lesson review!

When the time came for the eruptions to begin, the students gathered around the classroom table for prime viewing. To the students’ delight, there was enough baking soda and vinegar for not one, not two, but three eruption attempts that day. Each student got a turn to either hold the funnel or pour baking soda into the volcano, while the key ingredient – vinegar – was left for Ms. Clark to add.

After two fun eruptions, the last attempt of the day ended up being the most surprising of all. After several seconds of no activity, which left the students puzzled, the volcano erupted all over Ms. Clark’s arm.

“The last one looked like the smoothest one,” said Hunter B. “It looked like one of those water things that squirts very high... a geyser, I think it is called.”

“I liked the third eruption because it went all down the volcano to the ground and made it like a bubble bath,” said Tahj V.

"It was funny when Jacob said it’s not doing anything, and then it actually did,” said Emily P. “The last one was so surprising, and it almost touched my nose!”

As part of their lesson, the students are practicing their non-fiction writing skills by creating “how to” guides for building a volcano. The guides are complete instructions with an ingredient list for anyone interested in also becoming a volcano scientist.