In the 3rd and 4th grade classroom, we had a small lava problem. There was lava all over our room. We had to get from one side of the room to the other using seven small stones that would not melt. The students got right to it and made it across using problem solving skills and trial and error. We figured out quickly that you cannot throw the stones too far because not everyone will be able to make the jump. After all of us were safely on one side, one of the stones floated away and we left with only six. This took a bit more thought. Eventually we realized that we would have to share the stones and we worked together to get back across.
On the final trip across, there were large black rocks floating in the lava. However, these rocks were very hot and we could only be on them for a short time. At first we moved too fast and we made some mistakes which resulted in a loss of another rock. Eventually, we just started to “surf” the rocks to safety. This posed a problem for the ones who could not get their rocks to move. This was a perfect opportunity to discuss why it is important to work together and help others. The students had a lot of fun and did an incredible job.