Welcome to the first set of WebDay Friday activities!
WebDays are web-based activities (usually videos or interactive sites) that include a student worksheet. They are usually student favorites of all we do in the Classroom Connection program. Feel free to modify the included student worksheets to the level of your students.
This week’s WebDay is all about underwater volcanoes and geysers, my personal favorites of the ocean floor features. Since this is such a cool topic, there are lots of online videos and interactive websites. Here are just a few of them.
Suggestions for discussion topics (or worksheet questions):
1. How are submarine eruptions different from terrestrial ones? Why do you think that is? What is it about being underwater that makes the difference?
2. How does the life near submarine volcanoes differ from life on terrestrial ones? Why do you think that is? What is it about being underwater that makes the difference?
3. The ash from terrestrial volcanoes is toxic to humans and other life around it. Do you think the ash from submarine volcanic eruptions are toxic in the same way? Why or why not?
4. Scientists know quite a bit about how the oceanic crust was formed. If underwater eruptions are so hard to capture on film, how do we know so much? What evidence do we find on the ocean floor that gives us the information we have?
5. How do you think an ROV can get so close to an underwater eruption? What makes it possible underwater when on land, we work hard to remove machines and humans from a wide radius around the eruption?
6. How are underwater eruptions tied to the formation of the oceanic crust?
7. You find underwater volcanoes at subduction zones too (where the oceanic crust is being destroyed or sucked down underneath other plates) like the Tonga Arc in the first video. Why do you find them there? (See subduction zone geology if you’re unsure of the answer to this one.) Why don’t you only have underwater volcanoes at mid-ocean spreading ridges where the oceanic crust is “born”?
Features of the Ocean Floor
Here’s an interactive game for vocabulary. (SE, ES, MS but can be a good review for HS)
Label the Ocean Floor
Here’s another interactive game for vocabulary. (SE, ES, MS but can be a good review for HS)
Deep Sea Geysers
Here’s a classroom lesson plan from National Geographic for the distribution of hydrothermal vents. (MS but can be adapted down to ES and SE by omitting concepts like chemotrophy.)