Human Response Handouts

This section is designed to supplement the lessons in the Earth Windows section of A Living Laboratory: Volcanoes.

The links on the right are hand outs used in this section of the lab.

Learning Team

First Meeting:
In your Learning Team's first meeting, decide which components of the eruption each of you will become "expert" in:

Team Member / Area of Expertise

1. __________________________________ The precursory period
2. __________________________________ Pyroclastic Flow
3. __________________________________ Rock debris avalanche
4. __________________________________ Lateral blast
5. __________________________________ Lahars
6. __________________________________ Vertical column

As the assigned "experts," you and your teammates will now take turns leading a discussion, in which you will find out what your teammates already know or believe about your assigned topic, and what they want to know. List these things in "Expert Notes," Sections 1 and 2. As you do your research and share findings with your Expert Group, try to find answers to your Learning Teammates' questions.


** Independent Research and Expert-Group Meeting(s) **

Second Meeting:
Taking turns, each member will teach the rest of the team about his/her area of expertise. Teammates should keep notes, including any helpful metaphors or other memory aids, illustrations and diagrams, key words and phrases. Allow time for each expert to answer questions from the group and discuss areas where more information is needed.

Third Meeting:
After the whole class enacts the eruption in a dramatic simulation, a final Learning Team meeting will be held. The purpose this time is:

  1. to have experts answer any remaining questions
  2. to make sure that every member of the team is ready for a test on the material
  3. to wish each other "Good Luck!"

Expert Group

  1. What are the most important things to know about your area of expertise? Take turns adding one item at a time to a list. Share what you have learned about each item. If you have nothing new to add, let a groupmate take your turn. Keep careful notes in your "Expert Notes" handout section 5, about new things you learn from your groupmates. In Section 6, list everything about your topic that you want your Learning Team to learn.


  2. Check Section 2 in your "Expert Notes." Have all your Learning Team's questions been answered? If not, see if your Expert Groupmates can help. 


  3. How will you teach these things? Discuss with your groupmates each of the methods below. Choose the ones you want to use when you teach your Learning Team. Record them in "Expert Notes," Section 7.


      A. Metaphors: Take turns describing your assigned topic in terms of familiar images. (For example, a mountain before an eruption might be likened to a vanilla ice cream cone. After the eruption, it might be compared to the cone after the ice cream has fallen out on the ground!) Choose the metaphor you like best, record it in "Expert Notes" Section 7A, and use it to help your Learning Teammates understand your topic.

      B. Visual Aids: Draw a diagram or illustration, or choose an object, that will help you show the idea you want to teach. Take turns suggesting ideas or sharing drawings. Select the visual aid you want to use when teaching your Learning Team, and record it in "Expert Notes" section 7B.

      C. Descriptive Words and Phrases: In your Expert Group, brainstorm colorful adjectives, adverbs and action verbs that will help you describe your topic to your Learning Team. Select some you like and record in "Expert Notes" section 7C.

      D. Learning Activities: Try to think of ways your Learning Team can participate actively while you teach them. Share ideas for games, work-sheets, puzzles, quizzes, simulations, etc., that you might use with your Learning Team. Record the best ideas in "Expert Notes" section 7D.


    6. Outline in "Expert Notes" Section 8, your complete, step-by-step plan for teaching your Learning Team about your area of expertise.

'Expert' Notes

To become an "Expert:"

  • Find out what your Learning Teammates already know and what they want to know about your topic
  • Read, thoroughly, all available material on your topic
  • Participate actively in Expert Group meetings
  • Keep careful notes on this handout from your reading and your meetings with your Expert Group, including as much detail as possible, in your own words. Refer to the Expert Grouphandout for help with this form.


Think about the following:

  1. Members of my group already know or believe the following about (your topic):
  2. Members of my group are curious or want to know the following about (your topic):
  3. Things I've learned from my research and reading (show your sources:)
  4. Questions I need to ask other members of my Expert Group:
  5. New things I've learned in my Expert Group (notes from discussions:)
  6. Things I want my Learning Team to learn from me:
  7. How I plan to teach them:
    • Metaphors:
    • Visuals (diagram, picture, model:)
    • Descriptive Adjectives, Adverbs and Verbs:
    • Learning Activities:
  8. My Complete Teaching Plan:

Student/Test Evaluation

1. List events that are the major components of the Mount St. Helens eruption of May 18, 1980. Next to the component, write a brief description or key phrase that describes it.


		Event:				Description:


    A. __Precursory Period__________________Earthquakes occur and bulge grows__



    B. _________________________________________________________________



    C. _________________________________________________________________



    D. _________________________________________________________________



    E. _________________________________________________________________



    F. _________________________________________________________________



2. In complete paragraphs, describe how the May 18, 1980, eruption affected the environment. Give specific examples in each category, below:

    A. Plants and trees:

    B. Animals, including humans:


    C. Landscape:


    D. Manmade structures:

3. List two or more things you have learned in this unit about cooperative learning:

4. List things that you, personally, might do to improve your performance as a member of a group:

5. Tell what you like best about this activity, and why.

6. Tell what you like least about this activity, and why:


Simulation Plan

To prepare for your dramatic simulation of the Mount St. Helens eruption of May 18, 1980, take a few minutes to read, think about, and jot some notes on this handout. Then, meet with your Expert Group (lateral blast, pyroclastic flowlahar, etc.) or Role Group (new groups assigned to the roles of trees and pocket gophers) to share members' ideas and plan your part in the dramatic action.

1. Brainstorm alone, and then with your group, about the characteristics of your assigned role. To help with this, ask yourself . . . If this role (a pyroclastic flow, a tree, a lateral blast, etc.) were a person, it would have these characteristics:


    Physical appearance:


    Speech patterns (volume, accent, fast/slow, etc.):






2. Brainstorm alone, and then with your group, about the way your assigned role "acts:"


    It moves like . . . 


    It looks like . . . 


    It sounds like . . .


3. Write a description of the action of your assigned role, using ideas from 1 and 2.


4. Brainstorm all the different ways you and your group could dramatize this action. With your group, pick the best one. Make notes on it here.


5. Decide on a sequence. At what point in the eruption sequence does your role start its action? Stop its action? (You may refer to the "Eruption Storyboard" if your teacher provides it, or draw your own cartoon-like set of illustrations depicting stages in the eruption.) What will be your group's first move? Will different members do different things? Where in the 'stage' area will your part of the action take place?


6. Are there materials or props that would make your part of the dramatization more effective? Think about what you might do with the following. In your group, decide which ones (if any) you want to use and which members could provide them:



    Sound effects:




7. Appoint one member to report to the whole class on what your group has decided to do.

8. In whole-class discussion, you will talk about how your plan fits with those of the other groups, and in what order. Everyone must agree that your plan will work.

9. Finally, set the date, finish the preparations, apply the final touches, and . . . "Break a leg!"

Eruption Storyboard


Project Plan: "Life on a Fiery Planet"

Team Members:

_______________________________          _______________________________

_______________________________          _______________________________

_______________________________          _______________________________

_______________________________          _______________________________

Country: _________________________

Volcano: _________________________

Instructions: Using resource materials supplied by your teacher or found in your school library, research answers to the following questions about the volcano you have been assigned. Be prepared to share your answers with your teammates.

  1. Where does your volcano fit in the volcanic history of your country? Is it part of a chain of volcanoes? Is it the only volcano in its region? How does it compare to others in your country, in terms of age, dates of eruptive periods, kinds and magnitude of eruptions, etc.? How does it compare with other volcanoes in your country in terms of impact on the physical landscape? the country's geography? Human life and culture? What is its current status? Its predicted future?
  2. What types of human communities surround your assigned volcano? Are they rural? urban? What kinds of technology are available to them today? How do they make their living? Do they all speak the same language? Which cultural groups have been most affected by your mountain's eruptive history? How are they different/similar in lifestyle, religion, politics, economics, etc.?
  3. Of the cultural groups living in close proximity to it, which one best reflects the impact of its eruptive episodes? Where is evidence of that impact found? Is it evident in their art, literature, dance, music, religion, government, ways of making a living, styles of architecture, level of modernization, etc.?
  4. Did any of your mountain's past volcanic events have a global effect? Consider its possible effect on other parts of the world, due to changes in culture, disaster effects such as famine or plague, climate and weather, etc.
  5. Do the human communities that live close to your volcano appear to take into account the possibility of future cataclysmic events in their own backyards? Is the threat of future eruptions reflected in new technology? new land uses or management policies? monitoring and evacuation plans? protected areas like parks, preserves, monuments, study and recreation areas? religious beliefs? customs and folklore? new economic bases like mining or tourism?
  6. Make two lists below, one showing the direct and indirect negative effects of your mountain on nearby human communities, the other its benefits (direct and indirect.)


Negative Effects			Benefits

_____________________________          _____________________________

_____________________________          _____________________________

_____________________________          _____________________________

_____________________________          _____________________________


Native American Myths

Northwest Native American Myths

Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest watched eruptions of Mount St. Helens long before the explorers and settlers came. Early accounts of eruptions were handed down and explained by their legends, contributing to a rich tradition of oral history and myth.


From the Puyallup Tribes

According to the lore of these tribes, long ago a huge landslide of rocks roared into the Columbia River near Cascade Locks and eventually formed a natural stone bridge that spanned the river. The bridge came to be called Tamanawas Bridge, or Bridge of the Gods. In the center of the arch burned the only fire in the world, so of course the site was sacred to Native Americans. They came from north, south, west, and east to get embers for their own fires from the sacred fire.


A wrinkled old woman, Loowitlatkla ("Lady of Fire,") lived in the center of the arch, tending the fire. Loowit, as she was called, was so faithful in her task, and so kind to the Indians who came for fire, that she was noticed by the great chief Tyee Sahale. He had a gift he had given to very few others -- among them his sons Klickitat and Wyeast -- and he decided to offer this gift to Loowit as well. The gift he bestowed on Loowit was eternal life. But Loowit wept, because she did not want to live forever as an old woman.


Sahale could not take back the gift, but he told Loowit he could grant her one wish. Her wish, to be young and beautiful, was granted, and the fame of her wondrous beauty spread far and wide.


One day Wyeast came from the land of the Multnomahs in the south to see Loowit. Just as he arrived at Tamanawas Bridge, his brother Klickitat came thundering down from the north. Both brothers fell in love with Loowit, but she could not choose between them. Klickitat and Wyeast had a tremendous fight. They burned villages. Whole forests disappeared in flames.


Sahale watched all of this fury and became very angry. He frowned. He smote Tamanawas Bridge, and it fell in the river where it still boils in angry protest. He smote the three lovers, too; but, even as he punished them, he loved them. So, where each lover fell, he raised up a mighty mountain. Because Loowit was beautiful her mountain (St. Helens) was a symmetrical cone, dazzling white. Wyeast's mountain (Mount Hood) still lifts his head in pride. Klickitat , for all his rough ways, had a tender heart. As Mount Adams, he bends his head in sorrow, weeping to see the beautiful maiden Loowit wrapped in snow.


From the Yakima Tribes

Si Yett, meaning woman, is the Yakima Indian name for Mount St. Helens. According to legend, Si Yett was a beautiful white maiden placed on earth by the Great Spirit to protect the Bridge of the Gods on the Columbia River from the battling brothers, Mount Adams and Mount Hood.


From the Klickitat Tribes

Klickitat Indians tell of two braves, Pahto, (Mount Adams) and Wyeast (Mount Hood), who fought to win the affections of an ugly old hag, who had been turned into a beautiful maiden by the Great Spirit.


From the Cowlitz Tribes

Cowlitz Indian legends tell of a time when Mount Rainier had an argument with his two wives, Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams. Mount St. Helens became jealous, blew her top, and knocked the head off Mount Rainier. 


(Cowlitz Indians called Mount St. Helens "Lavelatla," which means "smoking mountain.")

Vulcan's Vocabulary Worksheet

Using complete sentences, define the following volcanic terms:

1. Andesite:

2. Ash:

3. Ashcloud:

4. Ashfall:

5. Ashflow:

6. Avalanche:

7. Basalt:

8. Composite Volcano:

9. Crater:

10. Dacite:

11. Debris Avalanche:

12. Dome:

13. Lahar:

14. Lava:

15. Lavaflow:

16. Magna:

17. Mudflow:

18. Phreatic eruption:

19. Pumice:

20. Pyroclastic:

21. Pyroclastic Flow:

22. Tephra:

Anywhere Recreation Area Map


Vulcan's Vocabulary Quiz

Define the following terms:

1. Composite volcano:

2. Magma:

3. Pyroclastic flow:

4. Dacite:

5. Conduit:

6. Tephra:

7. Basalt:

8. Lahar:

9. Phreatic Eruption:

Eruptive History Worksheet/Quiz

Name of Period Dates 
Memory Aid
World Event