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What is a Volcano?

What is a volcano?

A volcano is an opening in the earth’s crust. Where hot liquid rocks from deep called magma erupts to the surface.

Magma and Lava

When rock beneath the earth’s surface gets really hot it gets molten or liquid. When it is below the surface it is called magma. When the magma erupts to the surface through the volcano it’s called lava. The hotter and thinner the lava is the farther it will flow.


A volcano can be active, dormant or extinct. An active volcano has recently erupted or currently erupting. A dormant volcano that hasn’t erupted for a long time but can still erupt. An extinct volcano is one that scientists think will never erupt again.

School Activity

At school we learned about Pompeii and had to design and make our own volcano using whatever materials we liked. We then tested the volcanoes using baking soda, vinegar, soap and red food colouring. Other pupils used Mentos and coke.

We enjoyed watching the eruptions.


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