Ashfall by Mike Mullin

ashfall book cover

Book Info

Grade Level
Middle School, High School
STEM Concepts
Engineering, Nutrition, Ecology, Disaster Response and Management, Geology, Human Health, Physics Volcanology
Publisher
ISBN
978-1933718743

In Ashfall, the supervolcano under Yellowstone erupts, blanketing much of the United States in a thick, deadly layer of ash. As society begins to break down under the strain of the disaster, one boy must make his way across Iowa to reunite with his family. This coming-of-age tale explores concepts of volcanology, physics, engineering, and food science, and also raises questions about the true cost of survival and the importance of holding on to humanity in the face of cataclysmic events.

Videos

The STEM Read Ashfall Event!

Get a taste of what STEM Read events are all about with a look at our event based on Ashfall by Mike Mullin!

Escaping into Reading and Writing with Mike Mullin

Mike Mullin, author of the Ashfall series, talks about how he got into writing, and gives a few tips to aspiring authors.

Mike Mullin's Top 5 Favorite Books

Watch Mike Mullin talk about the daunting task of naming his top five favorite books.

Mike Mullin at NIU: The Hammer Fist!

What does hammer fist have to do with practice and determination? Watch to find out!

Mike Mullin at NIU: "That's Just the First Chapter!"

Hear Mike read the first chapter of Ashfall!

Mike Mullin at NIU: Mike Breaks a Brick

Do you think Mike can actually break a brick in half? Watch to see!

Geologist Jim Walker Spouts Off About Volcanoes: Part 1

Jim Walker discusses volcanoes and Yellowstone National Park. Dr. Walker is a professor of geology at Northern Illinois University’s Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences.

Geologist Jim Walker Spouts Off About Volcanoes: Part 2

Jim Walker discusses predictions, super eruptions, and becoming a volcanologist. Dr. Walker is a professor of geology at Northern Illinois University’s Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences.

Interview with Game Designer Eamon Newman

What really goes into the design and development of games? Game designer Eamon Newman talks about the math behind games, the creation process of Surviving the Ash, beta testing, and getting into game design.

Activities

Ashfall-game-icon

The Explosive Ashfall Experience

You can check out photos from our Fall 2016 event in our Ashfall photo gallery.

Ashfall Event Image

Surface Tension Activities

Check out the lesson plans we created for Mike Mullin’s newest release Surface Tension!

Educators

Idea Sparks and Mini Lessons

These questions, prompts, and short activities provide quick ways to inspire interest and explore the STEAM concepts related to the book. Idea Sparks and Mini Lessons can also be used for differentiation and to foster new ideas of your own.

Download Lesson Plan

Shelter Engineering Challenge

In this lesson, students will use the Engineering Design Cycle to construct a model shelter that could be used for protection from the falling ash that results after a volcanic eruption.

Download Lesson Plan

Ethics Challenge: Friend, Food, or Foe

The characters in Ashfall have to make all kinds of life-changing decisions. In this lesson, students will participate in a writing activity and in-depth discussion about whether or not a person can hold on to one’s humanity during a catastrophic disaster.

Download Lesson Plan

Welcome to Meepleville: Signs and Symbolism in our Culture and World 6-8

In Ashfall, new communities begin forming as survivors work with or against each other to rebuild civilization. In this activity, students will look at examples and signs, symbols, and slogans. Their groups will create signs to welcome, lure, or scare people away from their settlements. Groups will note on the settlement they would like to join based on the signs. Extra points toward the final assessment will be awarded to groups with the highest number of votes.

Download Lesson Plan

Welcome to Meepleville: Signs and Symbolism in our Culture and World 9-12

In Ashfall, new communities begin forming as survivors work with or against each other to rebuild civilization. In this activity, students will look at examples and signs, symbols, and slogans. Their groups will create signs to welcome, lure, or scare people away from their settlements. Groups will note on the settlement they would like to join based on the signs. Extra points toward the final assessment will be awarded to groups with the highest number of votes.

Download Lesson Plan

Find Tanglewood Press’s lesson plans here.

Video Discussion Guide

Watch the videos and then use these questions to facilitate classroom discussions about the topics presented.

Download the Video Discussion Guide

About the Author

Mike Mullin

Mike holds a black belt in Songahm Taekwondo. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife and her three cats. Ashen Winter is his second novel. His debut, Ashfall, was named one of the top five young adult novels of 2011 by National Public Radio, a Best Teen Book of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews, and a New Voices selection by the American Booksellers Association. Other titles by Mike include Surface Tension and Darla’s Story

Learn more at mikemullinauthor.com.

Source: Mike Mullin