Activity 1: Haleakalā Past and Present
Materials & Setup
• ʻO Wākea iā Papa Hānau Moku acetate (master, p. 9)
• Overhead projector and screen
• Inside Hawaiian Volcanoes video, Smithsonian Institution (provided with this curriculum)
For each group of four to six students
• Small plastic bag of cinder (from a garden supply store)
• Small plastic bag of soil
For each student (optional)
• Student Page “Inside Hawaiian Volcanoes Quiz” (pp.10-11)
1) Divide students into groups of four to six students. Give each group a bag of cinders and a bag of soil. Have them observe the contents of the two bags, write down a description of each, then write a comparison of the two.
2) Ask groups to share some of their responses.
3) Ask groups to write down an hypothesis about which would be easier for a plant to grow in and why. Again have groups share some of their responses. Help students consider the effects of the cinders’ porosity (inability to store water) and sharpness (danger of cutting fragile roots) on the ability of plants to grow.
4) Ask students whether an earthworm would do best in the soil or cinders. What about a spider? Have students explain their reasoning.
5) Ask whether anyone has been to the summit area of Haleakalā. Did they see cinders up there? How about soil? The substrate of the summit area largely consists of cinders and other volcanic products such as lava bombs. These rocks can tell us a lot about the past, present, and future of Haleakalā. They tell a story about the challenges of life in the summit area. They tell us something about the age of Haleakalā. As Hawaiian volcanoes reach a certain stage, their eruptions tend to become more explosive and they tend to eject more cinders than lava flows. And they may help scientists predict the general location and timing of future eruptions. Deciphering the secrets of Haleakalā and learning from the mountain are the themes of this unit. In order to learn about the present, we need to understand the past.
6) Show the ʻO Wākea iā Papa Hānau Moku acetate. Read the chant aloud with students. Take the “one” role yourself or ask a student who is proficient in Hawaiian pronunciation to take that role. This chant illustrates one view of the origin of the Hawaiian Islands. Ask students to share ideas about how this chant compares with their understanding of the origin of the islands.
7) For another perspective, show the Inside Hawaiian Volcanoes video (25 minutes).
• How is the formation of the Hawaiian Islands explained in Hawaiian tradition? Write and/or illustrate your response, and keep in mind that there is more than one traditional explanation of the Islands’ origin. You may wish to find another version than the one presented in the chant you read during class.
• Compare the plate tectonics explanation of the formation of the Hawaiian Islands with a traditional Hawaiian explanation.
• Student writing and illustrations of the plate tectonics theory explanation of Hawaiian Islands formation
• Optional: Student Page “Inside Hawaiian Volcanoes Quiz” (teacher version, pp. 7-8)
• Journal entries