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Interactive video lesson plan for: Lava Heaven - Hawaii's Goddess of Fire

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Big Island of Hawaii, the southernmost landmass of an archipelago lying in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The creation of Hawaii is an extraordinary and dramatic tail, it is the story of the tempestuous fire goddess Pele, it is the saga of life, and death.

Hawaii is located 2,400 miles of the West Coast of the United States. There are 8 islands in the chain, but on the southeast coast of Big Island lies an area the size of New York City, known as Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Established in 1916, with 30 miles of coastline, and an area of 218,000 acres. This World Heritage Site displays the results of 70 million years of volcanism, and if you’re a lava lover, this is where you come.

Here stands two of the world’s most impressive volcanoes. Mauna Loa, the "Long Mountain", is a slumbering giant, it last erupted in 1984. This is the largest volcano in the world, it measures just over 10 miles from it’s base below the sea floor to it’s crater. Kīlauea is Mauna Loa’s younger more volatile sister, her name is Polynesian for “spewing”, or “spreading”, and since 1983 Kilauea has spewed enough lava to cover the whole of Washington DC to a depth of 44 feet.

On Big Island this creation of land is rich in symbolism, the Hawaiian people believe that divine imagery and mystical meaning is to be found in the natural elements. In the Hawaiian religion, Pele is the goddess of volcanoes. She is a popular figure in many stories of ancient Hawaii known as Hawaiian mythology. A unique combination of delicate ecosystems and fearsome violence, this endless cycle of death and rebirth, makes it a land of exotic and captivating contradictions.

Clip from the documentary “Natural Wonders of the World”.

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