Madame How & Lady Why – Part 3: Volcanoes

\’And wherever there are volcanos there will be earthquakes. You may have earthquakes without volcanos, now and then; but volcanos without earthquakes, seldom or never.
How does that come to pass? Does a volcano make earthquakes? No; we may rather say that earthquakes are trying to make volcanos. For volcanos are the holes which the steam underground has burst open that it may escape into the air above. They are the chimneys of the great blast-furnaces underground, in which Madam How pounds and melts up the old rocks, to make them into new ones, and spread them out over the land above.\’
Madame How & Lady Why by Charles Kingsley

An 1888 Lithograph of the 1883 Eruption of Krakatoa.
Lithograph of 1883 Krakatoa Eruption

\’Cone, crater, lava: those words make up the alphabet of volcano learning. The cone is the outside of a huge chimney; the crater is the mouth of it. The lava is the ore which is being melted in the furnace below, that it may flow out over the surface of the old land, and make new land instead.\’

Ambleside Online has a guide by Katie Barr which provides background information on the book and the following are some of the rabbit trails we pursued as we went through Chapter 3 of MHLW which was all about volcanoes. You\’ll find some information repeated in the different videos and websites but it\’s a fascinating subject and we thought they were all helpful.

Pg. 49 – Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii (Kingsley refers to Hawaii as the Sandwich Islands, the name given to them by Captain James Cook in 1778).

Volcano 101 – very good; explains the different types of volcanoes; one view of a \’mummy\’ from the ruins of Pompeii:

What is the common link between earthquakes, volcanoes, and tidal waves? An ABC Splash video with transcript.

Below – good, simple video on how volcanoes are formed and continental drift. One mention of millions of years towards the end.

Geography – Seterra, a free programme that can be used online or downloaded (which is how we use it) has a world mountains and volcanoes map game.

Pg 54 – Mt. Vesuvius

Pliny the Younger, witness to a catastrophe. Great site with two videos of Pliny\’s observations of the Vesuvius eruption in 79AD.

The destruction of Pompeii – some information at \’Eyewitness to History.\’

Short video on Mt Vesuvius facts and narration of Pliny the Younger:

Mt Vesuvius erupts near Naples, Italy in 1944:

Excellent website on the Mt Vesuvius eruption during World War II. Probably of more interest to an older child but I think most boys would love it.

A 2009 aerial view of a very different Mt Vesuvius:

The active volcano island of Krakatoa lies between the islands of Java and Sumatra in the Sundra Strait, and is one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.

New Zealand Volcanoes
We were living in New Zealand between the 1995 and 1997 eruptions of Mt Ruapehu. I thought it was bizarre to be playing in the snow on a mountain which had erupted in recent times but my husband, being a New Zealander, took it in his stride. He thinks Aussies are crazy to ski on snow fields that have trees sticking up out of them.
One of his cousins is a volcanologist and it made me feel slightly better that he thought the mountain was safe enough the day we went up. Only slightly. I was making escape plans in my head all the time I was up there.
An article from The Earthquake Commision – Remembering the 1995 Mt Ruapehu Eruption.

The Institute of Geological and Nuclear Science (GNS) has lesson plans and information on the volcanoes of New Zealand and a fact sheet on Ruapehu which is the largest active volcano in NZ.

The Waimangu Volcanic Valley is a geothermal system at Rotorua in the North Island of New Zealand which we visited on our honeymoon. An eerie and beautiful place.

Crater Lakes, Pg 63

 Inferno Crater Lake, New Zealand
Inferno Crater Lake, New Zealand
Mt. St. Helen\’s Eruption May 18, 1980

A sweep of Cotopaxi (see Pg 60 of MHLW) at 5897 meters. Located in Equador in South America

New island formed by volcanic eruption, Japan 2013:

6 thoughts on “Madame How & Lady Why – Part 3: Volcanoes

  1. Oh, yay! I've finished planning the first 2 terms of SBoS, and would like to have through Chapter 4 of MHLW planned before we start in July. I'm looking forward to the next post. Oh, and I have to decide on a keyboarding program. The old homerow and words per minute are a thing of the past. I'll keep my eyes open for part 4 post.


  2. Pingback: Madame How & Lady Why: Chapter 5 – The Ice-Plough | journey & destination

  3. Pingback: Madame How & Lady Why: Chapter 4 – The Transformation of a Grain of Soil | journey & destination

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