Hill of Fire Teaching Plan
Three learning activities to complement the book by Thomas P. Lewis
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5
About this book
Oral Language: Volcano News Flash
Invite cooperative learning groups of four or five to plan and present TV news shows about the eruption of El Monstruo. Roles can include (1.) an on-the-spot reporter describing the eruption as it happens; (2.) a studio reporter pointing out the location on a map; (3.) the farmer and his son being interviewed by a reporter; (4.) a program director to introduce the show and announce the different segments (e.g., “And now, back to you, Janice, at the scene of this tremendous Hill of Fire!”). Allow time for each group to practice its presentation before sharing it with the class. Conclude the activity with a general discussion in which students critique their own group's performance, telling what they like best about it and what they might want to change.
Invite students to tell about situations in which their families or neighbors had to respond to an emergency caused by a natural force, such as a wind storm, blizzard, flash flood, or earthquake. Discuss people's reactions and what they did to help themselves and their neighbors. Some students might enjoy writing and illustrating an account of the incident. Suggest that they refer to the feeling-graph (above) they made for Hill of Fire to get ideas about how to structure their stories. Put the finished stories in a reading-table folder labeled Emergency! Invite students to read and discuss the stories with a partner.
Science: Rock Hounds
Review page 38 in the story, which describes the lava coming out of the Hill of Fire. Use the bulletin-board diagrams to point out that lava is the name for the melted rock that shoots and flows out of the volcano, that when the lava cools and hardens on Earth's surface it is called igneous rock (“igneous” means “of fire”), and that eventually soil forms and plants grow on it. Invite partners to research and report on common kinds of igneous rocks and their uses, such as granite (used for buildings and curbstones), basalt (used in building roads), pumice (ground up in household scouring powders), and obsidian (used decoratively and in jewelry). If possible, invite a geologist, quarry-miner, stone mason, or natural history museum staffer to bring samples of igneous rocks to show to the class and then lead a field trip to find and identify some of these and others kinds of rocks (metamorphic and sedimentary). Encourage interested students to collect and label different kinds of rocks and display them for the class.