Stratovolcanoes of the World

Susan McLean, Patricia Lockridge
Type Category
Instructional Materials
Student Guide , Informative Text , Map , Image/Image Set , Instructor Guide/Manual
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be "fully aligned," the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.



This sixty-four page teacher guide / student informative text provides additional reference materials for educators who are using the Stratovolcanoes of the World poster (see Instructional Materials) Each poster featured on the map has a smaller map showing its location. Fictional stories giving details about each volcano and questions for students are also included. Teachers can also access additional references and activities. Words in bold print in the text are defined in the accompanying glossary.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
  • Middle School
  • Grade 5
  • Grade 4
Access Restrictions

Limited free access - Some material is available for viewing and/or downloading but most material tends to be accessible through other means.

Performance Expectations

4-ESS2-2 Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.

Clarification Statement: Maps can include topographic maps of Earth’s land and ocean floor, as well as maps of the locations of mountains, continental boundaries, volcanoes, and earthquakes.

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource was not designed to build towards this performance expectation, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Performance Expectation
Students are presented with maps, appropriate data, and facts about each volcano and its location. They could interpret data from the maps by generating a timeline of activity for each volcanic eruption, highlighting most frequent occurrences. They might predict future volcanic activity using these timelines, while discussing possible patterns of volcanic eruption. This resource is detailed and provides students with a close-up view of eight specific volcanoes. The lessons might be used as a supplement to the developing topic of volcanoes and earthquakes, and might be more applicable as a group, extra-credit, or enrichment lesson.

Science and Engineering Practices

This resource was not designed to build towards this science and engineering practice, but can be used to build towards it using the suggestions provided below.

Comments about Including the Science and Engineering Practice
Students could compare timelines of eruptions for their specific locations, determining which locations have the most frequent eruptions. Student groups could be responsible for one volcanic location. The teacher could present the guide from the website for use on an I-Pad, with a hard copy of each location for student groups, or as a whole-class white board comparison of each of the eight locations.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource appears to be designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea, though the resource developer has not explicitly stated so.

Comments about Including the Disciplinary Core Idea
Students could flag locations of their specific volcano location on a world map. They could compare their pattern of volcanic locations to those on a "Ring of Fire" world map. Students could generalize results to include earthquake activity data, as well as plate tectonic locations, using color-coded information for each location.

Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.

Comments about Including the Crosscutting Concept
Students could refer to the timeline of volcanic activity ( suggested above) and highlight periods of most frequent activity. Results could be charted on a bar graph, with students reporting on their specific volcano and its location. They could also identify the physical features around the volcanos and then predict where they think the next volcano might occur giving evidence for their choices. Location of volcanoes could be connected with "Ring of Fire" label for student discussion activities.

Resource Quality

  • Alignment to the Dimensions of the NGSS: The larger stratovolcano poster allows students to observe a world-wide map view of the volcanoes along with photos and facts of each. The individual volcanoes are presented on three maps - MapQuest, NOAA, and a physical map to allow students and teachers to locate

  • Instructional Supports: This resource is best used by teachers to review content knowledge about volcano formation It does not offer teachers any plans for lessons, assessment, or delivery of topic. The teacher resource feature is a series of reference listings and information pertinent to the eight volcanoes discussed. The "Stratovolcanoes of the World" poster can be purchased for $18 at It could provide students with a starting point to choose a volcano location to research, and provide them with background knowledge about these volcanoes. However, the resource doesn't offer teacher guidance or differentiation of instruction for students. Struggling students might need more support in making sense of maps. A home or neighborhood connection for students is not available for students in this resource.

  • Monitoring Student Progress: The resource offers questions for students to answer about each volcanoes location and effects on human life. If students are researching a particular location as an individual activity, responses to questions may be used as a form of assessment. This resource, however, may best be used by students in small groups. Each group could report on one volcano, utilizing the world map, timelines, and graphs to record its activity. The fictional stories about each volcano could be read and questions answered by the group, possibly during a science center class period. Students could read the stories individually,or with a reading partner. Responses to questions could be completed in the same manner. For the most part, the teacher would be assessing group work. Students might complete a K-W-L chart for use before and after student work has been completed. Students might also be asked to choose two volcanoes being reported on by other students. They could create a Venn Diagram in science notebooks which illustrate their similarities and differences.

  • Quality of Technological Interactivity: Technological interactivity is not available for this resource, even though much information is available for student map analysis and discussion.