Application Project Plan (APP) Planning Sheet


Bill Begeal and Neil Clifford


Target Audience:

6th grade science students

Brief Description:

This series of lessons will revolve around volcanoes. It will include a basic assessment of their knowledge before and after the unit, as well as an emphasis on media literacy, particularly the need to be able to assess relevant sources for accuracy and reliability. Note: These lessons will connect the volcanoes unit with previous units taught on rocks and plate tectonics. While it is not essential that this material be covered beforehand, it would be useful in establishing connections. Also, the lessons taught were done so using a Smart Board and document camera. While this is ideal, a projector would suffice for the purpose of sharing the clips.

Curriculum Goals:

  • Students will be able to recognize the various types of volcanic landforms and explain how they form.
  • Students will be able to locate the Ring of Fire and other volcanic regions and communicate an understanding of why there are so many volcanoes located those places. ( making connections to previous unit on plate tectonics and Earth's interior)
  • Students will be able to explain how hot spot volcanoes form
  • Students will be able to explain the hazards associated with volcanic eruptions as well as the benefits that volcanoes provide.
  • Students will be able to recognize the difference between a quiet and explosive eruption.
  • Students will be able to explain the stages of a volcano's activity.
  • Students will explore the properties of magma and relate it to their previous knowledge of density.
I have listed all of our objectives for the volcano unit. As we develop the lessons and work with our timeline not all objectives may be included in the end series of lsat lessons.

ELA Common Core Goals:

  • Comprehension and Collaboration

    • SL.6.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
      • Come to discussions prepared, having read or studied required material; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.
      • Follow rules for collegial discussions, set specific goals and deadlines, and define individual roles as needed.
      • Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion.
      • Review the key ideas expressed and demonstrate understanding of multiple perspectives through reflection and paraphrasing.
    • SL.6.2. Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
    • SL.6.3. Delineate a speaker’s argument and specific claims, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.

    Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

    • SL.6.4. Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; use appropriate eye contact, adequate volume, and clear pronunciation.
    • SL.6.5.. Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.
    • SL.6.6. Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.

Media Literacy Goals

  • Students will examine various media sources of volcanic information and assess its accuracy.
  • Students will identify reliable sources of information regarding volcanoes
  • Students will begin to develop rudimentary media literacy skills (Scheibe and Rogow) including:
  1. Understanding-- Comprehending basic media messages as a foundation for developing analytical questions based on those messages
  2. Awareness- Cultivating a heightened cognizance to media messages, their place in society, and their effect on our lives.
  3. Analysis- Decoding media messages for meaning in order to develop a critical, thoughtful approach and response to those messages.

Other Goals

  • Create engaging lesson plans to stimulate students' curiosity regarding the natural world.
  • Encourage students to develop a 'habit of inquiry' in which they construct knowledge through continual questioning and reassessment of facts as new information is presented.
  • To develop students' ability to express themselves clearly in writing and speech.

Proposed Activities:

Lesson 1 - Prior knowledge & Volcanic Landforms ( 1 period )

  • Begin by asking students to draw a volcano, and then ask them about their sources of knowledge.
  • Think, pair, share activity to establish baseline knowledge. (focusing on the K of the K-W-L) Record results on the Smart Board
  • Share a few video clips (see resource links below) and ask students about what they saw, and if it matches what they think they know about volcanoes

Superman -Volcano
Hula Hoop Commercial
Brady Bunch clip
Taco Bell Commercial
National Geographic Video
Volcano movie trailer

After watching the clips, brainstorm a list of things they saw/noticed. Run a decoding of the clips - Does their knowledge match what they saw? Are all volcanoes on a tropical island? How could we find out? Do all volcanoes explode violently ? Are all volcanoes shaped the same way? Where have you learned your information about volcanoes? Who would know what volcanoes are really like? Where could we find out this information?)


-Students will submit their drawings of a volcano
-Students will be asked to develop 3 questions regarding what they would like to learn about volcanoes. These questions will be collected and assembled (with duplicate --class Knowledge chart (KWL)
or similar questions culled out) and distributed on a handout at the conclusion of the second lesson. students will be asked to choose 10 questions to answer. Sources of information must be provided with their answers.

Lesson 2 -

introduce the concept of media and medial literacy.
  • Ask the students what we might mean when we say media (radio, television, newspapers, magazines, the Internet/computers, movies.) Brainstorm various types of media on the Smart Board
  • Since media conveys messages through visuals, language and/or sound, encourage students to brainstorm other forms of potential media (clothing, games as media, signs, billboards).
  • When we think of literacy, we traditionally think of print media. Traditionally, being literate meant being able to read and write. Ask the students what might be meant by the term media literacy.

Media literacy refers to the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, and produce communication in various forms.

Watch the videos a second time, one at a time, but this time with a focus on interpreting the media.
Following the videos, we will ask questions and follow-up probes to get the kids thinking about the process that went into these videos.

What do you think the video is from? Why do you think that?
When was it made?
Who is the target audience for this? How do you know?
Is this fact? Opinion?
Is there an obvious message here? Are there any implied messages?
Who got paid for it?
What kinds of actions might I take in response to this message?
Is there anyone who might benefit from this?
Could it harm anyone?

  • On Smartboard show various images of volcanoes and non-volcanoes and have students sort them into the ones they think are volcanoes and the ones they think are not. Images will show various volcano landforms, some that will look familiar and others that won't. Introduce students to the three different volcanic landforms ( shield, cinder-cone, & composite )
  • HW - create a list of at least 5 things you want to know about volcanoes during this unit.

Location of Volcanoes on the Earth.
  • Begin with students sharing with each other their lists of what they want to learn about volcanoes. Groups should then create a list of everyone's questions - omitting any repeats.
  • Students will look

  • Create a lava lamp? (To illustrate the concept of density/ the effect of heat on density)
  • Research volcanoes and compare students' new knowledge with previous knowledge
  • Use Google Earth to locate a volcanic landform


There will be a number of informal assessments conducted throughout the unit, including visual check-ins


Lesson 1:

Lesson 2:


  • A limited amount of time to practice and refine students' decoding skills in class, coupled with a lack of experience on our part as instructors.
  • A lack of practical experience/exposure to actual volcanoes

Planning Steps