Ted's teaching tips;The Big Picture;Parting shots

22nd May 1998 at 01:00
"Volcanoes" is always a favourite lesson topic. This surreal photograph of blackened skies over an ashen landscape offers the chance to cover factual matters about how volcanoes work, and how people react to them.

* Volcanoes

What is happening in the picture? Once children know that an eruption is involved, ask what they know about volcanoes. They may mention Vesuvius, Krakatoa, craters on the Moon (some are volcanic, many are made by meteorites), Icelandic geysers. How do volcanoes work? Do children have misconceptions? For example, they may think lava comes from the centre of the Earth (it comes from the mantle), that volcanoes are only found in hot countries (some are under the sea, others have snow on them).

* Language

Describe the picture in graphic terms, discussing words and phrases for the sky, the people, the scene ("eerie", "weird", "menacing", "stunned", "awesome", "terrifying", "disbelief", "numbed", "trance", "spectacular").

* Imagination

This picture makes a big impact on the imagination. "What if . . ." questions can really stimulate thinking. "What if the sky were always dark and we never saw the Sun?" (Effect on crops, climate, our mood, well-being.) "What if a volcano erupted a mile from your home?" (What would you do? How would it affect you?) Paint a picture with unexpected colours. (A red tree with blue leaves, black flowers in an orange field, a green face.) Write a story entitled, "The day the sky turned black".

* Ted Wragg is professor of education at Exeter University

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now