Discovering New Land


Volcanoes are an explosive reaction on the earth's crust that releases ash, rocks, and magma (liquid rock) from underneath the earth. Many of these volcanoes are found underwater! Once the magma cools and hardens it forms new land. Many of the islands we know today were formed through volcanoes.

The ocean landscape is being changed every single day. New land can be formed at any time!

Volcanoes are also very important because they release new rock and minerals from below the earth's crust. Volcanoes can also form rocks, as we have also learned.


A volcano has erupted in the middle of the ocean! This is your chance to design your very own island. BUT it is important to make sure that everything can survive and thrive on your island. 

After a new island is formed, what is the first thing that would need to live there before an ecosystem could grow? Why?

You may use a variety of mediums to accomplish this task - students can tell a story of the creation of their island and relate it to creation myths from First Peoples culture, or they may wish to create an artwork to represent their island. Students should understand the scientific concepts and then work either individually or collaboratively to communicate these ideas through various mediums. 

Some additional questions students may ask when creating their island:

  • How does the creation of your island change the ocean landscape?
  • Find a volcano near you. Is this volcano active or dormant? How would the volcano impact the environment around it if it were to erupt?

These questions can be discussed and answered in a Discussion thread!

Once you have made a submission for the assignment, your badge will appear the next time you log-in!  

To return to the Ocean Shapes the Earth main page: click HERE

Learning Objectives

This activity may be used to support the following learning objectives and competencies 

Grade: Primary, Intermediate


K: Plants and Animals have observable features 

1: matter is useful because of its properties 

2: Forces influence the motion of an object

2: water is essential to all living things, and it cycles through the environment 

3: Thermal energy can be produced and transferred

3: Wind, water, and ice change the shape of the land 

4: All living things sense and respond to their environment 

4: Energy can be transformed

4: matter has mass, takes up space, and can change phase

5: Earth materials change as they move through the rock cycle and can be used as natural resources 

6: Everyday materials are often mixtures 

7: Earth and its climate have changed over geological time 


Questioning and Predicting 

  • Demonstrate curiosity about the natural world
  • Make observations aimed at identifying their own questions about the natural world

Planning and Conducting

  • Collaboratively plan a range of investigation types, including fieldwork and experiments, to answer their questions or solve problems they have identified
  • Make observations about living and non-living things in the local environment

Processing and Analysing Data and InFormation 

  • Experience and interpret the local environment
  • Apply First Peoples perspectives and knowledge, other ways of knowing, and local knowledge as sources of information
  • Use scientific understandings to identify relationships and draw conclusions 

Applying and Innovating 

  • Generate and introduce new or refined ideas when problem-solving


  • Communicate ideas, findings, and solutions to problems, using scientific language, representations, and digital technologies as appropriate
  • Communicate ideas, explanations, and processes in a variety of ways
  • Express and reflect on a variety of experiences and perspectives of place


K: Basic needs of plants and animals (what do they need to survive on the new island)

K: Adaptations of local plants and animals (compare and contrast) 

1: Structural features of living things in the local environment 

1: Specific purposes of materials that allow us to use them in different ways

2: Physical ways of changing materials

3: Biodiversity 

3: Sources of thermal energy

3: Transfer of thermal energy

3: major local landforms

3: Local First People's knowledge of local landforms 

3: Observable changes in the local environment (some are short-term events, some are long-term changes)

4: how plants and animals sense and respond to their environment

4: biomes are large regions with similar environmental features (create a biome on your island, which biome does it fall into)

4: The effect of temperature on particle movement 

4: phases of matter

5: The rock cycle 

5; the First Peoples concepts of interconnectedness in the environment 

6: Force of gravity

7: Organisms have evolved over time

7: survival needs

7: Fossil record provides evidence for changes in biodiversity over geological time 

Continue to Weather & Climate »