Friday, 12 February 2016

How to visit a mountain without visiting a mountain...

Sunday 13th February 2016

Another school week has passed and we are already thinking about next week and beyond. Over the previous six weeks my class and year group has been learning about Mountains and Volcanoes as the location of the school doesn't allow us to visit a mountain locally. As I have previously shared, I continually create opportunities to take learning out of the classroom environment and this unit was no exception. The topic began with our 'wow' factor where we created our own volcanic eruption. 

What you need:

  • Orange or red clay/play dough.
  • tablespoon liquid dishwashing soap.

  • 3 drops red food colouring.

  • 1 cup vinegar.

  • 1cups warm water.

  • 2 tablespoons baking soda.

1. You will also need 1 empty 25oz. plastic bottle.
2. Build a mound of dirt up around the bottle, keeping the top open.
3. Combine the soap and food colouring in the bottle.
4. Add vinegar and pour in water almost to the top.
5. Here's the amazing part! In a large spoon blend the baking soda with a little tap water to moisten it and then quickly pour into the bottle.
6. The contents will erupt out of the bottle just like a volcano.

The unit continued with a range of other activities. The children learned about the different mountain ranges across the world, as well as learning about the different types of mountains. E.g. Folded, Dome and Volcanic mountains. The children created their own questions and researched the answers using an iPad. The children were also lucky enough to interview Alan Arnette who has climbed Mount Everest three times and has climbed the highest peak on all seven continents. His website is:

 I wanted the children to understand the feeling of walking up a mountain. Each child was given one straw and their school bag with extra books added to it. The children put the straw in their mouth and the bag on their backs. We then turned the Air-Conditioning down to as cold as it would possibly go. Once the room was cold enough we set off on our journey. The school is three floors high and the children had to walk up and down the stairs three times breathing only through the straw. There is 66% less oxygen at the summit of Mount Everest and this activity gave the children an insight into what that might feel like.
It was a great end to a wonderful unit!

All my planning and resources for this unit can be found at:

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Global Teacher

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