ALEX Learning Activity


Using a Hyperdoc to Explore Volcanic Activity

A Learning Activity is a strategy a teacher chooses to actively engage students in learning a concept or skill using a digital tool/resource.

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  This learning activity provided by:  
Author: Julie Rhodes
System:Hartselle City
School:Hartselle City
  General Activity Information  
Activity ID: 1912
Using a Hyperdoc to Explore Volcanic Activity
Digital Tool/Resource:
Volcano Hyerdoc
Web Address – URL:

This lesson gives students the opportunity to explore volcanoes and their impact on our planet. Students will take a virtual field trip of a dormant volcano and answer research questions about its formation and its after-effects. Next, students will discover which volcanoes in the United States are currently active. Finally, students will use an interactive map activity to explore famous eruptions from around the world. They will be given clues about the date and consequences of the eruption. Once they locate the volcano, they will place a virtual pin in its location on the world map. This lesson aligns with 6th grade Alabama Science Course of Study.

This activity was created as a result of the DLCS COS Resource Development Summit.

  Associated Standards and Objectives  
Content Standard(s):
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 6
Earth and Space Science
5 ) Use evidence to explain how different geologic processes shape Earth's history over widely varying scales of space and time (e.g., chemical and physical erosion; tectonic plate processes; volcanic eruptions; meteor impacts; regional geographical features, including Alabama fault lines, Rickwood Caverns, and Wetumpka Impact Crater).

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
E8.4: Earth processes seen today, such as erosion and mountain building, make it possible to measure geologic time through methods such as observing rock sequences and using fossils to correlate the sequences at various locations.

NAEP Statement::
E8.9a: Lithospheric plates on the scale of continents and oceans constantly move at rates of centimeters per year in response to movements in the mantle.

NAEP Statement::
E8.9b: Major geological events, such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain building, result from these plate motions.

NAEP Statement::
P8.10e: Waves (including sound and seismic waves, waves on water, and light waves) have energy and transfer energy when they interact with matter.

Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Crosscutting Concepts: Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth's Systems
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Use evidence to explain how different geologic processes shape Earth's history over widely varying scales of space and time.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Evidence
  • Geology
  • Geologic process
  • Scale
  • System
  • Microscopic
  • Global
  • Time scale
  • Spatial scale
  • Uplift
  • Landslide
  • Geochemical reaction
  • Earthquake
  • Catastrophic event
  • Composition
  • Property
  • Deposition
  • Sediment
  • Surface features
  • Underground formations
  • Erosion
  • Chemical erosion
  • Physical erosion
  • Tectonic plates
  • Tectonic plate processes
  • Continent
  • Continental drift theory
  • Volcano
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Meteor
  • Meteor impact
  • Impact crater
  • Weathering
  • Fault line
  • Cavern
  • The planet's systems interact over scales that range from microscopic to global in size, and they operate over fractions of a second to billions of years. These interactions have shaped Earth's history and will determine its future.
  • Processes change Earth's surface at time and spatial scales that can be large (such as slow plate motions or the uplift of large mountain ranges) or small (such as rapid landslides or microscopic geochemical reactions).
  • Many geologic processes that change Earth's features (such as earthquakes, volcanoes, and meteor impacts) usually behave gradually but are punctuated by catastrophic events.
  • The composition of Earth's layers and their properties affect the surface of Earth.
  • Geologic processes that have changed Earth's features include events like surface weathering, erosion, and deposition by the movements of water, ice, and wind.
  • Surface weathering, erosion, movement, and the deposition of sediment range from large to microscopic scales (e.g., sediment consisting of boulders and microscopic grains of sand, raindrops dissolving microscopic amounts of minerals).
  • Water's movements—both on the land and underground—cause weathering and erosion, which change the land's surface features and create underground formations.
  • The motion of the Earth's plates produces changes on a planetary scale over a range of time periods from millions to billions of years. Evidence for the motion of plates can explain large-scale features of the Earth's surface (e.g., mountains, distribution of continents) and how they change.
  • Catastrophic changes can modify or create surface features over a very short period of time compared to other geologic processes, and the results of those catastrophic changes are subject to further changes over time by processes that act on longer time scales (e.g., erosion of a meteor crater).
Students are able to:
  • Articulate a statement that relates a given phenomenon to a scientific idea, including that geologic processes have shaped the Earth's history over widely varying scales of space and time.
  • Identify the corresponding timescales for each identified geoscience process.
  • Identify and use multiple valid and reliable sources of evidence to construct an explanation that changes occur on very large or small spatial and/or temporal scales.
  • Use reasoning to connect the evidence and support an explanation for how geologic processes have changed the Earth's surface at a variety of temporal and spatial scales.
Students understand that:
  • The planet's systems interact over scales that range from microscopic to global in size, and they operate over fractions of a second to billions of years. These interactions have shaped Earth's history and will determine its future.
  • A given surface feature is the result of a broad range of geoscience processes occurring at different temporal and spatial scales.
  • Surface features will continue to change in the future as geoscience processes continue to occur.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Exploring Planetary Systems
Exploring Plate Tectonics

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.6.5- Recognize that changes in Earth's features are brought on by slow processes such as mountain building and fast processes such as volcanic eruptions; identify erosion as a process that changes Earth's surface.

Digital Literacy and Computer Science
DLIT (2018)
Grade: 5
R5) Locate and curate information from digital sources to answer research questions.

Unpacked Content
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students will:
  • locate information from digital sources to answer research questions.
  • curate information to present or share with others.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • curate
  • keyword
  • search engine
  • database
Students know:
  • information to research questions can be obtained from digital sources.
  • resources to organize information.
  • resources to present or share with others.
Students are able to:
  • create a list of keywords or phrases to enter into a search engine and/or database such as Alabama Virtual Library.
  • use advanced search techniques to search by file type, dates, and specific domains.
  • organize information.
  • share information by creating a digital resource.
Students understand that:
  • information can be located from a digital source to answer research questions.
  • information can be organzied and shared by creating a digital resource.
Learning Objectives:

The learner should:

identify major catastrophic volcanic eruptions in Earth’s history.

use reasoning and evidence to determine the effects of a cinder cone volcanic eruption.

identify that volcanoes are a present danger to parts of the earth.

  Strategies, Preparations and Variations  

Students will use the Volcano HyperDoc to learn more about our ever-changing world. The HyperDoc has the links they will use and the questions they will need to answer. Students can make a copy to type on as they go through the different tasks. Using these links lets students who may never be near an actual volcano explore their impact on our planet. This activity should take 45-60 minutes to complete. 

  1. The teacher should make a copy of the HyperDoc for his/her drive.
  2. This activity can be done on most internet enabled devices- Chromebooks, PCs, iPads, etc.
  3. The teacher should create an assignment using an online learning management system or Google Classroom if their school uses one of these. If using Google Classroom, make sure to choose the setting that creates a copy for each student. Otherwise, the teacher can create a link to their copy of the HyperDoc and share it with the students.
  4. Before students begin the assignment, the teacher should have secured access to the devices students will be using.
  5. The teacher will begin the class by reviewing volcanoes and sharing with students how they are to explore volcanoes around the world virtually using this HyperDoc.
  6. The teacher will provide student access to the assignment through whatever means they are using from Step 2.
  7. If the students are not using Google Classroom before they begin typing and using the links, have each student make a copy of the Doc for themselves. This will ensure that they are not all typing on and accessing the same document.
  8. Explain how the students are to click on each link and use the site provided to answer the questions on the task column. They may type directly on the document to answer.
  9. When students have explored all three links, they will submit or share their work with the teacher. They can submit through Google Classroom or through direct email.

Students will:

take a virtual field trip of a dormant cinder cone volcano and explore its features and information.

find information about active volcanoes monitored by the U.S. Geological Association and locate those volcanoes on a map.

explore the locations of famous volcanic eruptions from history and the consequences of these eruptions.

Assessment Strategies:

Evaluate this activity by analyzing the answers submitted for the questions on the HyperDoc.

Advanced Preparation:

The teacher may want to share the HyperDoc through an online classroom management system such as Google Classroom. Alternatively, the teacher could share the link address.

This activity will work best for students and teachers who have a Google Docs account or Google Classroom. If a school if not using Google apps, I would suggest creating Google Doc accounts for the classroom that is completing this activity.

Before class, the teacher needs to make sure that devices are accessible and there are enough for all students.

The teacher should go through the HyperDoc before assigning it to the students to create a key of acceptable responses.

Variation Tips (optional):

If there are not enough devices for an entire classroom, this could be done in pairs or small groups.

For a paper and pen alternative, the teacher could print out copies of the HyperDoc and have students go to the sites, but write on their papers and turn those in.

Notes or Recommendations (optional):
  Keywords and Search Tags  
Keywords and Search Tags: