Common Core Review: Volcano Rising by Elizabeth Rusch

volcano risingWhen you hear the word “volcano” what comes to mind? Do you picture forceful explosions of liquid hot magma? Perhaps you think of the ancient city of Pompeii and its ash-covered inhabitants preserved for centuries in various stages of panic. Volcanoes typically conjure up visions of destruction and disaster, but Elizabeth Rusch’s Volcano Rising tells a very different story of volcanic activity – a story of creation, not destruction. Volcano Rising is a beautifully illustrated, engaging, and informative description of creative eruptions which are forming new mountains and islands all over the world.

Additionally, Rusch’s use of two levels of text makes this book accessible for a wide age range. The bold, succinct text is peppered with delicious onomatopoeia. Add to the mix Susan Swan’s beautiful collage illustrations and you have an informational text that is just begging to be read aloud to younger audiences. Further down on the page, the smaller text provides more in depth details and fascinating accounts of real volcanic activity that will grip older readers and keep them turning the pages to learn more. Helpful pronunciations are included throughout the text, and a glossary, selected bibliography, and suggested resources for further learning can be found at the end.

Common Core Connections:
As a first-rate informational text, Volcano Rising certainly fulfills all 10 of the ELA standards for Reading Informational Texts for grades 1 through 3. However, this book goes beyond the basics of meeting the standards and lends itself to the promotion of reading across the curriculum. Volcano Rising is a text that can be shared in Science, Social studies, ELA, and Art classes. Consider a cross-curricular unit focusing on the scientific aspects of volcanic formations in a variety of geographical locations (including under water and beneath glaciers). Students can then enrich their experiences by creating collages to represent what they have learned and perhaps writing a poem or brief description using any number of writing conventions from the onomatopoeia that they saw in Volcano Rising to alliteration or personification.

Consider pairing with either of Lisa Westberg Peters’ poetry collections about volcanoes and geology:
Earthshake: Poems From the Ground Up (2003)
Volcano Wakes Up! (2010)

Some Strong Connections:
1. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.5
Know and use various text features (e.g., headings, tables of contents, glossaries, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text.
2. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.6
Distinguish between information provided by pictures or other illustrations and information provided by the words in a text.
3. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.7
Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
4. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.6
Distinguish their own point of view from that of the author of a text.

Posted by: Staci

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