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Even though most of the the story of A Journey to the Center of the Earth takes place under the earth’s crust, we can’t forget the one impressive land formation that gives the characters access to this underground world (and helps them make their way back out) — the volcano. Here are a few simple steps to help your family make your own volcano at home.
Many years ago we bought a Volcanoes Kid Kit and it is probably one of the most used items in our homeschool closet of supplies. We have used it to study science, geography and history, and when we read A Journey to the Center of the Earth we used it to supplement our literature lessons as well.
I have to admit that I love the kit, and I think it is totally worth the investment because it has held up extremely well for more than 7 years of homeschooling and countless “eruptions”. The best part of the kit is the vinyl volcano model. Many of my friends are very crafty and have made volcanoes out of paper mache, but I am not that talented (or patient).
If you can’t find a Volcanoes Kid Kit here is an easy way to make your own volcano:
- Empty plastic or glass 8 oz. salad dressing bottle (throw away the lid and remove any other plastic around the mouth of the bottle so you have a 1 inch opening at the top of the bottle)
- Vinegar (white or apple cider)
- Baking soda
- Liquid dishwashing soap
- A small square of tissue
- Food coloring (optional)
- Something to make the volcano — you can shape construction paper, paper bags or paper mache around the bottle.
- The opening of the bottle will be the “crater” where the “lava” will come out, so fit the paper (or whatever material you use to make the volcano) around the bottle and make sure the paper doesn’t come above the top of the bottle.
- Set your volcano in the middle of a large baking pan, dish, or tray or in the sink.
- Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into the salad dressing bottle.
- Add a few drops of food coloring (optional) to the bottle.
- Add about 2-3 Tbs. of liquid dish soap to the bottle.
- Put a heaping teaspoon of baking soda in the middle of a square of tissue. Roll it up and twist the ends.
- Drop the twisted tissue into the bottle. Wait a few minutes and your volcano will erupt!
Don’t forget to have some kind of little plastic figures on hand to help re-create a scene from the story. My kids like to use Lego mini-figures.
Be sure to take lots of photos and include them in the Memory Book included in the World Study Guide for A Journey to the Center of the Earth.
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