If you’re interested in studying volcanoes in your homeschool, we’ve got the perfect in-depth setup for right here!
Perhaps you have a student that has a particular interest in volcanoes, or maybe you’re watching current events and active volcanoes intently-it could be that volcanoes are part of a science project or other type of unit that you’re studying or working on.
Whatever the cause for your interest in studying volcanoes in your homeschool, we’ve put together a great starting point that includes movies, videos, activities and books for your volcano unit study!
DIY Volcano Unit Study Resources
Because I’m not quite sure what ages you’ll be homeschooling as you study volcanoes, I’ll add further break down our recommendations by grade level so that you have a variety of books, videos, and activities about volcanoes for all ages.
Of course, as a homeschool parent, you know your family best. If you’d like to mix and match our recommendations to meet your family’s needs, be sure that you check out all of the options!
Volcano Unit Study Resouces for Elementary
At an elementary age, an introduction to volcanoes is usually best. We do this by simply explaining what volcanoes are, how they are formed, what makes them erupt, and what happens when they erupt.
Personally, at the ages between 4-6, I think visuals are more important teaching aids for topics like this. Books, movies, videos, songs.
Volcano Unit Study Resources for Middle School
But as we venture into teaching middle schoolers about volcanoes, it may be beneficial to begin with a small review and then move on to more hands-on opportunities.
Middle schoolers are typically in 5th-8th grade and it’s especially important to provide activities that are a little more in-depth. Since we’re speaking about volcanoes, this age is the time to dive into volcano building projects and volcanic science activities.
Volcano Unit Study for High Schoolers
Now that we have that foundational aspect of how volcanoes work and what they are, high schoolers can begin to learn about specific volcanoes that impacted our world.
By taking this deep dive into well-known volcanoes and violent eruptions, we learn more about what scientists have learned through these, how civilizations have learned to cope with them, and what life is like after a volcanic disaster.
Volcano Unit Study Topic Ideas
In every unit study, you should take the time to figure out exactly what you’ll be studying about. When studying volcanoes in your homeschool, here are some great volcano topics to focus on!
- parts of a volcano
- different types of volcanoes
- active volcanoes
- volcanic formation
- tectonic plates
- major volcanic eruptions
- volcanic processes
- famous volcanoes
- volcanic hazards
Books About Volcanoes for Homeschoolers
Writers note: We have not personally read all of these books. We teach from the perspective of a Young Earth as written in Genesis. While we try to choose books that portray our deep-rooted beliefs, sometimes we come across great educational options that do not.
We encourage you to do your own research and be sure that you are prepared to answer questions or speak on your beliefs about the topics.
Elementary Books About Volcanoes
Again, at this age, an introduction to volcanoes can be enough to get your kids interested in studying more about them. I mean, who isn’t intrigued by explosions and lava?
These books about volcanoes are tailored to elementary students aged 3-10 and grades 1-5.
- What happens before a volcano erupts?
- What is “magma”?
- Why does a volcano erupt?
- What happens to lava?
This is a tale about a volcano called Vladimir who suddenly awakens from his deep slumber. Vladimir doesn’t feel too well. But why?Come along and learn about what happens to Vladimir from the time he awakens to the time he finally erupts!
Volcanic Vocabulary Words for Elementary
- Outer Core
- Inner Core
- Carbon Dioxide
- Molten Rocks
Books About Volcanoes for Middle Schoolers
This book list about volcanoes is perfect for middle schoolers aged 11-15 and/or in grades 6-8. They detail facts about volcanic activity, life after volcanoes, and what science has discovered about volcanoes.
Discover everything about volcanoes around the world – from the largest, such as Hawaii's Mauna Loa, to the most active including Kilauea in Hawaii and Etna in Italy. Did you know that Indonesia has over 125 active volcanoes, and that there is one in Antarctica, too? Explore the hot spots of the world, including the Pacific Ring of Fire.
Eleven-year-old Jessie Marlowe has grown up with the beautiful Mount St. Helens always in the background. She's hiked its winding trails, dived into its cold lakes, and fished for trout in its streams. Just looking at Mount St. Helens out her window made Jess feel calm, like it was watching over her somehow. Of course, she knew the mountain was a volcano...but not the active kind, not a volcano that could destroy and kill!
Volcanic Volcabulary Words for Middle Schoolers
- Plate Tectonics
- Shield Volcanoes
- Magma Chamber
- Sulfur Dioxide
- Underwater Volcano
- Cinder Cone
- Lava Dome
Volcano Books for High Schoolers
Now that we’ve reached an age where students know about volcanoes, we can take that deep dive into learning about specific volcanic events that interrupted life.
These books are in-depth, science, filled, and specifically tailored to times and events where volcanoes impacted everyday life for people across the world.
When Indonesia's Mount Tambora erupted in 1815, it unleashed the most destructive wave of extreme weather the world has witnessed in thousands of years. The volcano’s massive sulfate dust cloud enveloped the Earth, cooling temperatures and disrupting major weather systems for more than three years. Communities worldwide endured famine, disease, and civil unrest on a catastrophic scale.
Volcanic Study Ideas for High Schoolers
- Mount Vesivius
- Mt. St. Helens
- Mount Rainier
- Mt. Fuji
Volcano Unit Studies for Homeschoolers
If you’re interested in studying any topic of choice, but don’t have the time to put together your own unit study, then another great resource is UnitStudy.com.
In this instance, since we’re interested in studying volcanoes in our homeschool, they have the perfect Volcano Unit Study already put together for you.
The Elementary Volcano Unit Study is a 93-page digital download that is expected to take 1-2 weeks to complete. It’s perfect for grades K-4!
From the first signs of ash and steam erupting from the peak to the lava flow and the explosive sounds that accompany an erupting volcano, these are astounding geographical wonders to behold for kids of all ages. As the rivers of molten rock run down the sides of the volcano, kids ooohhh and aaaaahh and stare with wonder. They are fascinated with these fiery mountains!
You can get 25% off this Volcano Unit Study from UnitStudy.com with my code THEFERVENTMAMA until 1/31/22.
Each day, your child will explore and investigate, creating and adding more learning components to his Volatile Volcanoes lapbook, building a wonderful reminder of all that he is learning to enjoy for years to come.
- Quest 1: What Is a Volcano?
- Quest 2: Where in the World Are Volcanoes Formed?
- Quest 3: How Volcanoes Form and Volcano Myths
- Quest 4: Science Secrets of Volcanoes
- Quest 5: Volcano Wonders and Unexpected Volcanoes
Volcanoes make a perfect unit study topic and provide a wonderful learning tool. From the parts of a volcano to the flow of lava, Volatile Volcanoes is going to take your child on a new and different learning adventure!
Plus, with our other suggestions for YouTube videos about volcanoes, documentaries about volcanoes, and even books about volcanoes- you’ll have plenty to study and learn!
Volcano Fun Fact: According to National Geographic, lava and magma are the same thing! Magma is the extremely hot liquid that is below the Earth’s surface (before a volcano erupts) and lava is what the substance is called after eruption!
YouTube Videos About Volcanoes
We do not recommend allowing access to YouTube without parents’ guidance and watchfulness. Adult help may be needed here.
Even though these YouTube videos about volcanoes are so much fun and educational, YouTube is not the kid-friendliest place when it comes to ads or “Watch Next” features.
However, it’s a great place to watch an active volcanic eruption, get an insider view to the eruption Mt. St. Helens, get a great view of volcano diagrams and molten rocks + so much more!
Elementary Videos About Volcanoes on Youtube
Volcano | The Dr. Binocs Show | Learn Videos For Kids
Volcanoes for Kids | A fun and engaging introduction to volcanoes for children
All About Volcanoes: How They Form, Eruptions & More!
Explore Volcanoes With Nat Geo Kids!
Videos About Volcanoes on YouTube for Middle Schoolers
Finding Stuff Out – “Volcanoes” Season 1, Episode 13
All About Volcanoes for Children: Introduction to Volcanoes for Older Kids
Volcanoes for Kids | How Volcanoes Work | Earth Science
YouTube Videos About Volcanoes for High Schoolers
Volcanoes 101 | National Geographic
Kilauea Volcano Eruption | A Perfect Planet | BBC Earth
Why the Yellowstone Supervolcano Could Be Huge
Documentaries About Volcanoes
Be aware that some of these volcano documentaries may include phrases like “millions of years ago”, “spirituality”, “gods”, or the like. While we do not believe “old earth” ideology, we find that these are great teachable moments.
In our homeschool, we teach from a Christian Worldview perspective. I’ll explain what that looks like for each grade as we detail our picks per grade level.
In elementary, we lay a strong Christian foundation, tying all of our ideas, works, and beliefs back to Christ.
We do try to stay clear (for the most part) of anything that explicitly goes against our beliefs. This isn’t for everyone, but I think it’s an important foundational aspect.
At this age, it may be hard for kids to sit and watch a documentary on volcanoes, so we added in movies and videos about them too, as to help fill the gaps.
In middle school, we begin teaching explicit “why’s” of our faith alongside our schooling and education- bringing in scripture to back up our beliefs to combat a secular worldview.
The shielding of other ideals is less at this point because we are taking the time to have those teachable moments of WHY we believe the way that we do.
By high school, the foundation and perspective have been both taught and understood. They have the tools, methods, and means to decipher what teachings go against our beliefs, but they are no longer shielded from them.
I think this perspective of foundation before introduction is important. We allow them to gain knowledge on other perspectives without confusing the mind and heart.
So, when you hear these terms that may not fit with your beliefs, take the time to acknowledge them and explain them.
Documentaries, Videos, and Movies about Volcanoes on Netflix
Into the Inferno
“With stunning views of eruptions and lava flows, Werner Herzog captures the raw power of volcanoes and their ties to indigenous spiritual practices.”
Documentaries, Videos, and Movies about Volcanoes on Amazon Prime Video
Volcanoes are among the most spectacular and powerful forces on our planet. They create new land, change landscapes and destroy civilizations, but more than two billion years ago, they also breathed life into our world. From the ocean abyss to snow-covered summits, this ambitious series paints a detailed picture of the struggles and amazing intimacy required to survive around volcanoes.
Documentaries, Videos, and Movies about Volcanoes on Discovery Plus
There are many options for educational documentaries, videos, and shows on Discovery Plus that cover a variety of topics. It’s always our go-to when searching for specific themes!
If you’re looking for other educational videos on Streaming Sites, check out these:
- Our Favorite Picks for Educational High School Video Streaming Options 2022
- Our Favorite Educational Streaming Sites for Junior High & Middle Schoolers
- List of Educational Elementary Streaming Options For Younger Kids in 2022
Journey to Fire Mountain
“A team of scientists assesses the threat of explosive volcanoes on Vanuatu.”
A Perfect Planet: Episode 1 Volcano
“Without volcanoes to build and fertilize land, Earth couldn’t support life.”
How the Universe Works Season 2, Episode 1: Volcanoes
“The discovery of volcanoes on other planets raises the possibility of life.”
Expedition New Guinea Season 1 Episode 3: Facing the Volcanoes
“Dr. George McGavin visits an erupting volcano and discovers a rare bird.”
South Pacific Season 1 Episode 4: Ocean of Volcanoes
“The South Pacific Islands originated in a violent birth of fire and lava.”
Man, Woman, Wild Season 2 Episode 5: Volcanic Destruction
“The Hawkes try to escape a volcano on the abandoned island of Montserrat.”
Discovery+ has many more educational videos about volcanoes! Just head to the search and type in “volcanoes” to see what they have to offer!
Hands-on Volcano Activities and Projects
Elementary Volcano Activities
Encourage your child's early S.T.E.M. learning with the Bubbling Volcano Reactor set from Learning Resources. Designed for ages 5 years and older, place your Reactor Pod within the volcano and then add water to trigger the bubbling eruption! Includes 1 volcano playset, 1 Reactor Pod with mystery creature hiding inside, 1 mini-poster with fun science facts, and an experiment guide featuring hands-on science fun.
Join Ms. Frizzle and her students as they go on a wild ride with the Magic School Bus and explore volcanoes. Your young scientists will perform experiments and learn about tectonic plate movement, different volcanic shapes and eruptions, make real pumice float and so much more. Designed for ages 5+, this kit includes a colorful poster with volcanic facts, pictures, and stickers.
Middle School Volcano Activities
Simulate the epic, earth-shattering power of a volcano in your own home. Build a huge volcano model with a sturdy frame that slides together, wrap the frame in hardening plaster-coated fabric strips and then paint it to look like the real thing. When you are ready for action, simply mix the two non-hazardous powders, dyes, and water to create a chemical reaction of flowing red ooze that simulates the molten hot lava flows of a real volcanic eruption. Includes 6 packs of chemicals, allowing the volcano to erupt multiple times, plus an instruction guide, and a large, full-color poster
Mount St. Helens, Pinatubo, Kilauea---bring the names in the news home to your students as they learn about the mechanics of volcanic eruption! A great way to teach kids about one of God's geological wonders, this 11" model spews out a lava-like liquid and opens up to reveal a cross-section of its "plumbing." Includes a teacher's guide with information on uses; facts; lava-solution recipe; and glossary. Ages 6 and up.
Volcano Printables for Homeschoolers
Printables are a great way to get some writing, notebooking, activities, and extra knowledge into your kiddos.
If you’re looking for some volcano printables for your homeschool, check out these below!
Elementary Volcano Printables
Volcano Worksheet and Handprint Art
Volcanoes Printables for Middle Schoolers
Free Volcanoes Lapbook includes volcano lessons and information + 18 mini-books!
Volcano Printables for High Schoolers
It was hard to find quality volcano printables for high schoolers, so instead, we’ve decided to help you out on creating your own, writing papers, and study ideas!
Write a research paper about their favorite, or a chosen, volcano.
Make it a fully encompassing research paper where they have to read books, watch videos, site sources, state facts, and more.
Or, you can ask them to write a hypothesis about a volcano and then research that hypothesis to form a thesis.
Complete an experiment and keep a notebooking journal.
While notebooking journals seem like they may be a little “juvenile” it’s a great way to keep notes and be able to reference them.
You can “grade” them on how well they took notes, followed directions, collected facts, drew pictures, etc.
Put together an art exhibit.
Have your student complete a variety of art projects that depict the things that they’ve learned. Perhaps starting with the steps of formation, then leading up to eruption and afterlife.
This can be different types of art- visual, graphic, design. Maybe in one step you can make mosaics, another you can create digital graphics, and another you can do a classical drawing.
Plan a trip to visit a volcano.
If you have the means, or live close to an active (or previously active) site, you may want to take the time to visit a place that has an active volcano or experienced a volcano at some point.
Real-life examples are the perfect teaching tools!
Conclusion: Volcano Unit Study for Homeschoolers
As you can see, there are tons of ways to study topics by tying in the interests of your child, the events that are currently going on around us or simply taking a deep dive into themed studies.
If you don’t have the time to put together your own unit studies, be sure to check out UnitStudy.com to get some great themed studies that are already put together for you!
What else will you be include in your Volcanoes Unit Study?