Lesson Plan

How Devastating Can It Be? Grades 6-12

Kīlauea Iki fountain eruption in 1959
Kīlauea Iki fountain eruption in 1959

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Grade Level:
Sixth Grade-Twelfth Grade
Geology, Mathematics, Science History, Volcanoes
2 1/2 hours
Group Size:
Up to 60


The often dramatic and voluminous eruptions that occur on Kīlauea volcano can wipe out forest far from the actual eruption site. Students examine the aftermath of one such eruption on location; using scientific practice and historical evidence to understand the changes caused by the eruption, and how the land in the area is still changing today.


  • Learn basic map reading skills
  • Convert measurements
  • Identify different lava formations
  • Understand process of formation
  • Use scientific process to answer questions 


Kīlauea Iki is a crater located in Kīlauea Caldera which erupted in 1959. The resulting devastation affected a wide area surrounding the actual crater, and the results of the eruption are still clearly visible until this very day. Volcanic ejecta can be found in the area immediately surrounding the crater. Meanwhile, the rainforest is slowly recovering and reclaiming the land burned by this eruption.


tephra, reticulite, cinder, aerial roots, pioneer plants

Last updated: June 8, 2017