Teaching Earth Science with Childrens Literature: Vacation Under the Volcano


“Jack looked up at the erupting mountain.  A red -hot cloud billowed over it.  Fires burned on its slopes.”  Vacation Under the Volcano by Mary Pope Osbourne is one of the Magic Tree House series books.  It is the story of Jack and Annie and their trip to the ancient volcano (Mt. Vesuvius) in Pompeii.  Contained within the entertaining plot are accurate descriptions of the volcano and its eruptions.

Curriculum Connections
This book could be used to instill interest in/reinforce the subject of volcanoes. It would help teach the students that the earth’s surface is constantly changing (5.7)  The book would be most appropriate for grade levels 3-5.  A great across subject book, it would serve easily as a reading group book.

Additional Resources

  • This Discovery Kids website contains interactive activities about volcanoes including a virtual “build your own volcano.”
  • A fun activity, this page is a volcano word search with key vocabulary terms related to volcanoes.
  • This site contains lesson plans and activities for teachers on the subject of volcanoes.

Book:  Vacation Under the Volcano
Mary Pope Osborne
Sal Murdocca
Scholastic Inc
Publication Date:
74 pages
Grade Range:

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