Volcanoes Writing Assignment

Julia Baldwin
University of Montana
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  1. This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection

    Resources in this top level collection a) must have scored Exemplary or Very Good in all five review categories, and must also rate as “Exemplary” in at least three of the five categories. The five categories included in the peer review process are

    • Scientific Accuracy
    • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
    • Pedagogic Effectiveness
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    For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

  2. This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process. This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This page first made public: Jul 8, 2008


Students write an original work of fiction pertaining to the geology of stratovolcanoes and their eruptive hazards.

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Introductory Geology for non-majors

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

understanding of stratovolcanoes and their geology and eruptive style.

How the activity is situated in the course

stand-alone exercise


Content/concepts goals for this activity

volcanoes and volcanic hazards

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

synthesis of ideas, critical thinking

Other skills goals for this activity

writing skills

Description of the activity/assignment

Students write an original work of fiction that includes aspects of the eruptive behavior of stratovolcanoes and the types of hazards that accompany stratovolcano eruptions. These aspects may appear as plot elements, or setting, or in some other fashion. Students must include background information other than their textbooks and must include references.

Determining whether students have met the goals

See grading rubric in attached assignment.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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