Mini Lesson/Activity

Kuril Islands Volcanoes: Student Activity

Mini Lesson

1.  Examine the image snapped from the International Space Station of the Sarychev Volcano in the Kuril Islands which are northeast of Japan. It is a photo of an early stage of eruption on June 12, 2009.

Saryshev Eruption Image - Image Credit:
Sarychev Eruption June 12,2009 - Image Credit: NASA

2.  Describe the impact you think the eruption could have on the Earth spheres: Atmosphere, Biosphere, Cryosphere, Geosphere, and Hydrosphere. Use the graphic organizer provided. NOTE: You will be filling it in for another image as well. Plan to use a different color or font to tell them apart. There is an editable PDF and an editable slide available.

Earth System Graphic Organizer
See Related Resources for PDF - or click here.

3.  Now, examine the image (also taken from the International Space Station) of the Raikoke Volcano, also in the Kuril Islands. This eruption occurred on June 22, 2019. 

Raikoke Eruption - Image Credit: NASA
Raikoke Eruption June 22, 2019 - Image Credit: NASA

4.  Describe the impact you think the eruption could have on the Earth spheres: Atmosphere, Biosphere, Cryosphere, Geosphere, and Hydrosphere. Use the same graphic organizer provided. Record your observations for the new volcano in a different font or a different color. 

Answer the following questions as directed.

Sarychev Eruption June 12, 2009 and Raikoke Eruption June 22, 2019 Image Credits: NASA
Sarychev Eruption June 12, 2009 and Raikoke Eruption June 22, 2019 Image Credits: NASA

A.  Compare the two images. What are the similarities and differences in the images? 

B.  The volcanoes happened approximately 30 km apart. What does this tell you about the area? 

C.  Make a claim about the volcanoes in the area. Use the evidence from the images and give your reasoning.

Teachers, these mini lessons/student activities are perfect "warm up" tasks that can be used as a hook, bellringer, exit slip, etc.

Teachers who are interested in receiving the answer key, please contact MND from your school email address at larc-mynasadata@mail.nasa.gov.  We verify that requestors are teachers prior to sending access to the answer keys as we’ve had many students try to pass as teachers to gain access. To receive the keys please provide the following:

  1. The link to the school/institution’s teacher directory where you are employed so we can verify that you are a teacher
  2. Ensure that the school email address is provided in your response as we are unable to send to personal email accounts

Related Mini Lessons

Related Scientifically-Interesting Stories

Grade Band

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas

Crosscutting Concepts

Earth System Data Explorer

Download this page