Skip To Content Skip to Translation Menu

Students are learning at a high magnitude through an interactive and interdisciplinary lesson on volcanoes in Sunset View Teacher Michelle Fordham’s classroom. Using volcanoes as a scientific subject, students investigated the scientific process to acquire English Learning skills, channeling their knowledge to build toward mastery in two separate subjects.

Fordham’s lesson plan first asked students to build a reservoir of knowledge on volcanoes, teaching students research strategies as they prepared for their project. After the research phase, Fordham took on the task of amassing the necessary ingredients herself: she purchased paint, baking soda, vinegar, food coloring, and dish soap. It’s a seismic undertaking that demonstrates excellent care for her students. She bought enough ingredients to ensure every student had their own volcano– each child witnessed one of nature’s wonders on their very own desk.

Students predicted the volcano’s behaviors, hypothesizing how each chemical might react to one another when combined. Students then used cause-and-effect graphic organizers to chart how each ingredient responded with the other, eventually culminating in more volatile reactions– until their volcanoes erupted.

Michelle’s ability to create lifelong learners who love the learning process is evident in how her students approach the lesson. They are not just learning about science; they are experiencing the scientific world firsthand. By allowing the students to make predictions and observe cause and effect, Michelle is teaching her students to think critically and to problem-solve.

Michelle’s use of volcanoes to investigate the scientific process and acquire English strand skills is a prime example of how our teachers engage students in meaningful ways– the lesson teaches English and Science strands true, but more importantly, it creates lifelong learners who love to learn and are not afraid to take risks. Obviously, this lesson goes far beyond expectation; teachers can’t end every project with a bang– which is why Michelle Fordham is special. 

Her ability to get students to respond to her class lessons is impressive, and it has a bubble-over effect for those that know her. Thank you for your great work, Michelle Fordham.

Spencer Tuinei
  • Communication Specialist
  • Spencer Tuinei