Mini Lesson

What is a Volcano?

Mini Lesson

Explore the Space Place page "What is a Volcano?".

Have students answer the following questions in small groups and share with the class.

  1. What did you see in the first volcano image? 

Kilauea volcano image - Credit J.D. Griggs - USGS
Image 1
Source: NASA SpacePlace

  1. What did you see in the second volcano image?
    Mount Saint Helens Eruption - Image Credit: Mike Doukas, USGS
    Image 2
    Source: NASA SpacePlace
  2. What did you see in the third volcano image? 
    Lava bubbles up from Kīlauea Volcano in Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Credit: Scott Horvath, USGS
    Image 3
    Source: NASA SpacePlace
  3. How are the three images different?
  4. How are the three images similar?
  5. Review  the introductory information provided in "What is a Volcano?" available from NASA's Space Place to answer the following question. 
    1. What are the three ways magma can reach the surface of Earth?

Teacher Note

Teachers who are interested in receiving the answer key, please contact MND from your school email address at