Would you build your house near a volcano?

“Of course not!”, I hear you cry! “What an absurd idea!”

It seems like such a silly question!

However, the children in Osprey class have been looking at reasons for and against building a new town near a volcano.  We held a class debate, where half of the class argued the reasons for the proposal, and the other half argued the reasons against!


  • Ash can destroy farm crops
  • Buildings can be destroyed by lava flow
  • People can be swept away by pyroclastic flows or lahars (mudflows)
  • Ash can cause health problems for people and animals
  • Frequent earthquakes can damage property



  • Farming near a volcano can be really good, because the volcanic soil can produce very good crops
  • Volcanic regions can produce geothermal energy, which is clean and renewable
  • Scientists can predict when a volcano will erupt
  • Volcanoes are tourist attractions bringing money and jobs to the area
  • Dormant volcanoes may not erupt for hundreds of years
  • The isolated slopes of volcanoes are good habitats for rare plants and animals
  • Minerals and rocks made from volcanic lava are mined and used for building materials, bringing jobs to the area

IMG_0205The children played their role well, fighting their corner even if it didn’t reflect their true opinion.  However, when we took a class vote on how they really felt about building a town near a volcano, almost all of the class voted against the notion.

(And I’m inclined to agree!)


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