Master Collection activity 18: volcanoes and earthquakes
Pupils explore volcanoes and earthquakes using 19th century gouache paintings of Mount Vesuvius and a newspaper report of a devastating earthquake on the island of Ischia.
They investigate what they are, how they affect local communities, and what kind of rocks they produce.
This activity is relevant for pupils studying how rocks are formed, and those investigating the destruction of the Roman town of Pompeii (buried as a result of an earlier eruption of Vesuvius).
Children finish by creating their own earthquake or exploding volcano in fun science experiments.
Increased knowledge and understanding of earthquakes and volcanoes, the movement of the earth’s crust, the destruction they can cause, and how igneous rocks are formed.
KS1-2 Art (investigating art, use of gouache)
KS1-2 Science (earthquakes and volcanoes, the creation of igneous rock)
Mount Vesuvius volcanic eruptions
Investigate images of 19th century Vesuvius eruptions in Learn with Objects Master Collection 18: Vesuvius eruptions on the interactive whiteboard.
What does the old letter say?
What is the last word in the letter? (It is a clue about the content of the paintings)
Investigate each picture in turn using the key questions supplied.
Does anyone know the name of this volcano?
Is it dangerous?
What destruction can it cause?
If you have access to historic newspapers, find accounts of the Vesuvius eruptions in 1858, 1868 and 1872. Compare the descriptions to what the artists have painted.
How accurate are their images?
Look at photographs of modern volcanic activity and compare with the album images.
How well have the artists captured volcanic activity?
What might a painting show that a photograph cannot capture?
For images of the buildings mentioned in the inscription below the 1858 image see this drawing of the Hermitage at Vesuvius
And this one of the Vesuvius Observatory
Here’s a simple video about volcanoes
Watch geologists descend into Vesuvius’ crater to take samples
Two great animations of how Vesuvius destroyed Roman Pompeii
How the eruption of Vesuvius preserved the remains of Pompeii
Film of the last time Vesuvius erupted in 1944.
Investigate the story of the devastating earthquake on the Italian island of Ischia at Learn with Objects Master Collection 19: earthquake on the interactive whiteboard.
Zoom in to the newspaper report to read the dramatic story of what happened in Casamicciola.
- What happened?
How did some people escape?
Here’s a simple film describing the science behind earthquakes
Did you know?
There was a Kent Earthquake as recently as 2007 which caused substantial structural damage to buildings in Folkestone and other nearby towns.
Make a miniature erupting volcano
Making a volcano is a fun, hands-on science project:
Find out more about earthquakes with these fun experiments:
Learn with Objects links
Use Learn with Objects Master 18: Vesuvius eruptions and Master 19: earthquake.