Volcano Defense

Name of Activity

Natural Disasters Management: Volcanoes




volcano, natural disasters, build


Earth Science

Grade Level



1 Hour Total

Brief Description

This project is the conclusion of the Natural Disasters Management unit, but can also be done standalone. It involves having students build their own towns and then see how those towns are affected by volcanoes that they will also build.

Lesson Objectives:

– students learn about how to build houses/buildings to best manage for a natural disaster

– learn it is very difficult to prevent damage from a volcano except to build the house far away from volcano

Materials Needed:

For towns:

– legos

– manila folders

– popsicle sticks

– string

– tape

– cardboard for base

For volcanoes:

– baking soda

– vinegar

– newspaper

– construction paper

– poster board

– soda bottles (as many as the number of volcanoes you want)

Preparation and Set Up:

– have students have their towns ready and present to them background knowledge on volcanoes (see attached powerpoint)

Knowledge Background

Understand the basics of how volcanoes work (see attached powerpoint)


1.  If students haven’t previously built towns, have students divide into groups of 4-5 and build towns on a cardboard base. Provide them with legos, manila folders, popsicle sticks, string, and tape to do so. 2. If students have previously built towns to test out other natural disasters, give them time to fix up their town. 3.  Present to the students the attached presentation, or any of your choosing, to inform them about what volcanoes are, how they work, and how they affect the world. 4. Divide the students in groups again and have them build their own volcano around a plastic bottle. 5. Finally, go outside and have the students place their towns around the volcanoes. Put baking soda in all of the bottles and then add vinegar to each one. Observe how the “lava” spreads and see how the buildings closest to the volcanoes are affected the most.

Reference 1


Umbrella Unit/Curriculum (if applicable)

Natural Disasters Management

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