Twig Science Middle School Sampler

U2 M1: Volcano Hunters


In Volcano Hunters, students take on the role of volcanologists to identify volcanic sites around the globe, analyze real-life data from the Earth’s active volcanoes, and devise a plan to protect people from the dangers posed by eruptions. To achieve that goal and meet the module Performance Expectations, they build on knowledge, skills, and practices developed in Elementary and lay the foundations for those to come in High School.

Volcano Hunters Trailer video




L3. Driving Question: How do we monitor volcanoes?

Anchor Phenomenon: Data from volcanoes can be analyzed to predict when eruptions may occur.

In this lesson, students turn to the question of volcano monitoring, brainstorming how eruptions could be predicted and collecting and analyzing volcano data. They think about different monitoring techniques, which they discuss, and examine how monitoring devices are used at the module study volcano. Students map timelines of sample volcano data which they use to write scientific arguments.  Finally, they analyze a dataset of undermonitored volcanoes and create a monitoring plan, which they present.


Performance Expectation:

  • MS-ESS2-1 Develop a model to describe the cycling of Earth’s materials and the flow of energy that drives this process

  • MS-ESS3-2 Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects

Volcano on the Wall 50 mins

Hands-On Investigation

Our Volcano Erupts: Data set 1 video
Our Volcano Erupts: Data set 2 video
Our Volcano Erupts: Data set 3 video
Our Volcano Erupts: Data set 4 video
Calbuco visual

Monitoring Volcanoes 50 mins

Reading for Evidence

Volcano Blog Posts handout
Volcano Team: Monitoring video

Analyzing Volcano Data 50 mins

Hands-On Investigation

Historic Dataset handout

Warning! 50 mins

Digital Investigation


Investigation: Historic Data Analysis visual
Current Dataset visual
Warning Levels visual
Volcano Warning Levels Rubric

A Monitoring Plan 50 mins

Online Assessment

Undermonitored Volcanoes handout
Undermonitored Volcanoes video

Our Proposals 50 mins

Video Investigation

Monitoring Volcanoes Rubric
Monitoring Volcanoes Rubric visual
Volcano Team: Monitoring video
Investigation: Monitoring Plan visual

Benchmark Assessment: Volcano Hunters


Part A & B
Part A & B - Teacher Rubric
Part C
Part C - Teacher Rubric
Part C - Student Rubric

Middle School Sampler

Grade 7

Volcano Hunters