Eyjafjallajkull On 16 April more than 16 000 flights were cancelled due to volcanic ash. It was the biggest airspace shutdown since World War II. Why did the ash cause this shutdown? Fred Hans: newsreader The volcano that caused this cloud! The brown areas are parts of Europe affected by the volcanic cloud. Can you identify the
countries? It took my family a week to get home from Portugal. What other problems do you think the volcanic ash caused? Im a headteacher. Ive been stuck waiting for a flight home from Egypt for days, cancellation after cancellation. I'm worn out, fed up and Im missing school!
I'm a travel agent, we've been doing 24-hour shifts to help people to get home, but for every person we give a refund, we lose our commission. I won't be able to pay the rent this month. The fruit and vegetables shelves in my local supermarkets have been empty. The planes cant bring it in from abroad.
How many can you see? Its in the News! Teachers guide April was the month that chaos ensued in our skies, airlines were forced to cancel flights, leaving thousands of people stranded in holiday or business destinations around the world. It took many days and even weeks for many of them to get back home, having to take extra time away from work. Many other problems arose, not least those relating to transport of fresh produce and pharmaceuticals from other countries to ours. The eruption continued to cause problems in May. When will it stop? This issue provides opportunities to develop mathematical activities around the concepts of such areas as measurement, including time, coordinates and ratio. continued on the next slide continued You may find it helpful for the discussion part of Its in the
News! to refer to the following news articles about the volcano and its effects: BBC News Telegraph.co.uk Wn.com For some background information about volcanoes visit these sites: Wikipedia.org Enchantedlearning.com Woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk 1st spread: Volcanic ash causes days of chaos Ask the children if they know of anyone that was affected by the volcano. You could display the information in a Carroll diagram (affected/not affected). Talk about the effects of cancelled flights include financial implications. You could show the photographs and video clip on the third weblink from above and ask them to describe what is happening. Was a teacher, parent or child in your school affected? Interview them. Ask questions to find out how much the delay cost them. How late back were they? Calculate in days, hours and minutes. In the Foundation Stage or KS1,set up your role play area as a travel agent or airport. In
the travel agents, children could book holidays and discuss whether or not they were likely to be able to go. At the airport, they could imagine what it would be like to have to wait. Change the location of the airport so that the children have to think about getting home and having their holiday cancelled. Make signs telling people what is happening in the skies today. Discuss the question on the slide and include the effects of the ash, using the diagram to help: ash can jam aircraft machinery, shutting down the engines as they become clogged with molten glass, and it can also be sucked into the cabin, contaminating the air and damaging the electronic systems. Older children could have a go at making a scale model to demonstrate what happens for themselves using polystyrene or small pieces of paper. Tell the children that this volcano erupted a few weeks before but that there was no effect like this. This time there was an area of high pressure causing north westerly winds which blew everything in our direction. Ask the children to show you which direction is NW and also the other compass points. You could do a little orienteering work with compass directions using real compasses. Use a globe to find out which countries the ash would have affected first had the wind been blowing NE, SE, SW or N, S, E, W. continued on the next slide 1st spread: Volcanic ash causes days of chaos continued
Look at the map of Iceland, discuss latitude, longitude and the coordinates on the map associated with these. Ask the children to identify the location of the volcano using the coordinates. Ask questions that involve these and also compass directions, for example: in which direction is the nearest town to the volcano, what are the coordinates for Reykjavik and in which direction is it from the volcano? You could give pairs of children a copy of this slide and ask them to measure the distances from the volcano to different towns and to use the scale to convert to approximate kilometres. They could then convert these distances to miles, either using a mental calculation method or, if appropriate, a calculator. You could ask them to work with a partner and research five different volcanoes from around the world. For each volcano, they should find its latitude and longitude, estimated area, and total number of known eruptions. Once they have completed this, ask them to write a report and create a graph that represents the total number of eruptions each volcano has experienced. Focus on the newsreaders comment and ask the children how many weeks and days ago the first cancellations were. Use this as an opportunity to rehearse days of the week, months of the year and the units of time and their equivalents. You could bring in a history link with WW2 or at the least position the start and end of the war on a number line and work out differences between those times and today or whenever the children were born and other significant dates.
continued on the next slide 1st spread: Volcanic ash causes days of chaos continued You could focus on volcanoes and talk about what causes them, mentioning the intense heat of the magma (usually between 700 and 1 300 degrees Celsius). This could lead into some work on average temperatures around the world to compare with the heat of a volcano, include negative as well as positive temperatures. Younger children could take the temperature today to compare with that of the volcano. They could also look at the temperature on the controls of an electric oven and compare (for gas, convert the gas mark numbers to temperatures). Discuss why the magma is so hot, even in a country like Iceland, where the average annual temperature is only 5 degrees Celsius. Give this information: the ozone layer is at 10-25 miles above the earths surface, the volcanic dust reached 6-11 miles above the earths surface, a plane flies at about 6 miles above and the height of Mount Everest is approximately 5 miles. Ask them to draw a scaled diagram to show this and also ask them to convert the miles to kilometres. There is a maths quiz about volcanoes at Educ.uvic.ca which you could ask them to try. continued on the next slide
1st spread: Volcanic ash causes days of chaos continued You could make a volcano just follow these instructions: a) To make the volcano mix 6 cups flour, 2 cups salt, 4 tablespoons cooking oil, and 2 cups of water. The mixture should be smooth and firm. Add more water if needed. a) Stand a small water bottle or similar in a container and mould the dough around it into a volcano shape. Keep the hole in the top open. a) Fill the bottle most of the way full with warm water and a bit of red food colour. b)
Add 6 drops of washing up liquid to the bottle. c) Add 2 tablespoons baking soda to the liquid. d) Slowly pour vinegar into the bottle. e) The eruption! You could use this as an opportunity to explore ratio e.g. 6:2:4:2, what would the ratio be if we only had 2/3/4/12 cups of flour 2nd spread: Empty skies You will need access to a map of Europe. Together, identify the countries affected by the cloud of ash. You could ask the children to find the distances from the volcano to
these countries, maybe their capital cities. They could make a table of their results. Ask them which is the furthest away, how far away it is and compare with the other capital cities using a counting on strategy for finding the differences. Give the approximate area of the UK as 200 000 sq km and ask them to use this to find the approximate area of volcanic dust cover. The children could use a copy of the slide, cut out a shape similar to the UK and see how many times it fits into the dust area and make their calculation from this. Make up flight departure timetables and ask the children to tell you when the planes will take off if they are a certain of number of hours/days delayed. Use this as an opportunity to practice time in a real life context, including 24 hour time if appropriate. 3rd spread: Problems, problems, problems! Discuss the different problems that the people on the slide mention and the impact they would have e.g. loss of wages, no fresh fruit and vegetables. Give the children the minimum basic hourly rate or an imaginary wage and ask them to work out how much money people would lose over a day, week etc. Discuss alternative ways that the little girls family could have got back to England e.g. hire a car, train and boat. You could look up information about the costs of the possibilities and work out how much it would cost them to get back to say, Southampton from Faro. You could repeat this for the head teacher on holiday in Egypt.
Discuss the idea of commission and what losing it would mean to the travel agent. Ask related problems such as Rod sells a holiday for 2 500, his commission is 10%, how much did he lose? This would be a good way to practice percentages. Discuss why fresh fruit and vegetables might have been missing from our supermarket shelves, include the fact that many are imported from other countries such as New Zealand, Italy, Ecuador so couldnt be flown in. Were the children unable to have a favourite fruit or vegetable during that time? Where does their particular favourite come from? Could it arrive a different way? This website can give some information: Agricultureb2b.com. You could ask the children to research where we import different fruit and vegetables from, plot them on a world map and work out the distances that they travel in miles and kilometres of course! Discuss the financial implications to the exporting countries and how this could be a disaster for them. Discuss and make a list of other problems that the children can think of. What would happen if the volcano continued to prevent flying for a year? You could look at Issue 20 of the Primary Magazine for more ideas for activities related to flight. 4th spread: The Worlds Volcanoes You will need to give the children a copy of this slide to work on. Ask them to identify where the highest density of volcanoes can be found.
Ask them to estimate how many they can see altogether. They could then count them by grouping them in tens, fives and twos. How close was their estimate? Ask them to identify the oceans where some of the volcanoes can be found. Are they surprised that there are some in the Antarctic regions? Can they identify which ones are closest to the UK? You could ask them to research Mount Etna in Italy how high is it? How many times has it erupted? Plot the dates of the eruptions on a time line. This YouTube clip shows Mount Etna blowing smoke rings! You could show the clip and discuss the shapes it makes can the children see circles, ellipses, rectangles? Would it be possible to blow triangular or square rings? You could use this as an opportunity to explore circles and concentric circles. For circles, ask the children to investigate the relationship between the radius, diameter and circumference. See Kenneth Noland in Issue 22 of the Primary Magazine for ideas with concentric circles. You could ask them to pick five of the volcanoes and work out, as accurately as they can, the coordinates where they can be found.
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