Cooling the Lava

Do-now: Review questions

  1. Why was it so hard for McPhee to find people in the Icelandic phone book?

  2. McPhee visits the headquarters of the Civil Defense Council. It is a bunker-like building with thick concrete walls and heavy steel doors, designed to withstand atomic bombs and poison gas. What is ironic about that?

  3. How did other Icelanders react when they saw the first attempts to cool the lava on television?

  4. Why was everyone in Iceland so worried about the impending destruction of a town that only has 5000 people?

  5. What do you think will happen? Will they manage to stop the volcano? Will they be driven back by the wrath of nature? Will they save the harbor but not the town? What in the text supports your predictions?

Reacting to "Cooling the Lava"

Pick one of the prompts below and write a paragraph in response.
  1. Does it surprise you that ordinary people were willing to get up on top of a lava flow and work long days, for months on end, in such dangerous conditions? Would you be willing to do that job?
  2. McPhee talks of those who fought the lava as if they were war veterans. Explain why this is a good analogy, giving at least two examples of ways they are similar.