Volcano Dioramas

Cecilia Dearborn
Oak Grove Elementary
volcano diorama
Please click on picture to see larger version ...
volcano diorama

Grades 1 & 2

Description: Students will create dioramas using materials that will give a "3-D" feeling of a dinosaur setting.

Objective: Students gain experience in 3-dimensional paper sculpture and create a life-like diorama as a culmination to a dinosaur unit. Students will integrate science, geography and art. Students will learn names of a few volcanoes, the names of some dinosaurs and learn how there can be a chemical reaction when you mix an acid and base (vinegar and baking soda).



Session 1: Tape 2 small paper cups together, base to base. Tape on waded up paper towels to make a basic volcano form. Tape onto a piece of cardboard. Cover cups and waded paper towels with layers of 1" wide strips of newspaper, using glue water or liquid starch. Cover top to base and let dry overnight.

Session 2: Paint board and volcano according to volcano location on a map. (We read Ranger Rick magazine and discovered a few volcanoes still active. We talked about where volcanoes are located, i.e., islands, mountains, plains, etc. We then located their country on a map.) Green, blue and brown paint can be used to signify water, soil and greenery and black and red paint for volcanic activity!

Session 3: Photos of volcanoes can be shared, along with pictures from library books. Then, the students use the raffia, sticks, rocks and colored construction paper to complete the diorama. Paper cutting techniques are demonstrated, making shapes such as cones, boxes, columns, spiraling and leaf fringing. These make huts, houses, trees, bushes, bridges and roads below the volcanoes. Students can now add a dinosaur to the setting. The class can also write facts or stories about its life and habitat. You can culminate the whole experience by adding a chemistry experiment. Add a teaspoon of soda into the top cup, followed by red food coloring and vinegar, and watch these volcanoes erupt! Have fun!


©   Deborah Padrick   2001