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ILLUSTRATION BY GARY HANNA; JIM MCMAHON/MAPMAN® (MAP)

©2020 BY SCHOLASTIC INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. PERMISSION GRANTED TO TEACHERS AND SUBSCRIBERS TO MAKE COPIES OF THIS PAGE TO DISTRIBUTE TO THEIR STUDENTS.

NONFICTION FEATURE

8  April 2020 | Scholastic Action

LEXILE 800L-900L

VIDEO

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DAY OF

DISASTER Nearly 2,000 years ago, a volcano destroyed the city of Pompeii. Thousands died. It was the worst disaster of the ancient world.

Now imagine that you are there.

BY LAUREN TARSHIS

THE

ROMAN EMPIRE Atlantic Ocean

79 A.D.

EUROPE

Rome

Bl a ck S

Mt.Vesuvius

Pompeii Med

iterra

nea n Se a

ea

ASIA

AFRICA

THE ROMAN EMPIRE The Roman Empire stretched across parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Pompeii is located in the country we now call Italy. PAUSE AND THINK: Where will your trip be taking you?

â

www.scholastic.com/action | April 2020  9

BENEATH THE SURFACE Why did Mount Vesuvius erupt? And how did it cause so much destruction? 1. Extremely hot, melted rock called magma flowed up through a crack in Earth’s crust. 2. For months, the magma boiled under Vesuvius. This caused pressure to build. 3. Vesuvius finally erupted, sending ash and melted rock called lava 12 miles into the air. 4. The ash and tiny pebbles called pumice rained down on Pompeii, burying the city.

VOCABULARY empire: a large group of countries or regions controlled by one ruler or government molten: melted by heat eruption: the act of erupting—sending out rocks and ash in a sudden explosion preserved: kept in good condition over a long period of time ruins: the remaining pieces of something that was destroyed

10  April 2020 | Scholastic Action

PAUSE AND THINK: Why are the people of Pompeii in danger?

YVONNE BAUR/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM (BACKGROUND); ART BY BROWN BIRD DESIGN

PAUSE AND THINK: What was the city of Pompeii like in the year 79 a.d.?

5. A lava flow rushed down the mountain at up to 180 miles an hour—burning everything in its path.

3

4 5

City of Pompeii

2

1

PAUSE AND THINK: What is pumice? What did it do after the eruption?

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PAUSE AND THINK: What killed the people who stayed behind in Pompeii?

PAUSE AND THINK: What would you find if you visited Pompeii today?

This drinking cup was found in the ruins of a fancy Pompeii home, like the one below. The city’s rich lived in large villas decorated with paintings and tiles.

BACK IN TIME This is what a Pompeii villa might have looked like in 79 a.d.

12  April 2020 | Scholastic Action

YVONNE BAUR/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM (BACKGROUND); AZOOR PHOTO/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO (GOBLET); JAVARMAN/SHUTTERSTOCK.COM (HOUSE); DEA PICTURE LIBRARY/THE GRANGER COLLECTION (VILLA)

UNCOVERING A LOST CITY