The Earthquake Game (Grades K-3)
This activity introduces the use of earthquakes to track magma
movement. Divide the students into groups and form four parallel lines.
They need to hold hands and stand shoulder to shoulder. The lines of
students represent the outer layers of the earth and serve as a barrier
to magma moving towards the surface. A student or teacher must play the
part of the magma. The "magma" starts at the "bottom" and looks for weak
places in the layers. If the magma can break through a layer, i.e.,
break through the grip of two students, it moves towards the surface.
The students at the break must clap to represent the energy released by
earthquakes. Ideally, the magma moves quickly to the surface, its
progress marked by a pathway of clapping students. In practice, the
magma may not have enough pressure to break through some "hard" layers
and is captured, preventing an eruption. The latter case often happens
at real volcanoes and is called an intrusion. Remember to link the
movement of magma with the cracking of rocks and the generation of