DIY Volcano Unit Study Resources

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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 erupting with lava flowing down it and the text overlay "volcano DIY Unit Study elementary - high school options"

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.

All About Volcanoes (A True Book: Natural Disasters)

Is it true that, at any given time, about 20 volcanoes are erupting somewhere on Earth? Yes! Sometimes volcanoes erupt with a big, dangerous bang. Other times they spit out lava so slowly that you could walk faster than it flows.

Volcanoes (Little Scientist)

Lava, ash, and dust burst out of the earth. It's a volcano! Discover the fascinating science of underground events that create these powerful natural eruptions.

Vladimir The Volcano: A Tale of an Unforeseen Eruption (Nature Speaks Series)
  • 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!

Pompeii -- Buried Alive! (Step into Reading)

Read this book to find out what happened to a town named Pompeii when a Mount Vesuvius erupted almost 2,000 years ago! 

Volcanic Vocabulary Words for Elementary

  • Volcano
  • Outer Core
  • Inner Core
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Molten Rocks
  • Magma
  • Lava
  • Ash

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.

DK Eyewitness Books: Volcano and Earthquake: Witness the Power of Our Restless Planet from Violent E

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.

I Survived the Eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980

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!

Pompeii -- Buried Alive! (Step into Reading)

Read this book to find out what happened to a town named Pompeii when Mount Vesuvius erupted almost 2,000 years ago!

Volcanic Volcabulary Words for Middle Schoolers

  • Plate Tectonics
  • Shield Volcanoes
  • Magma Chamber
  • Sulfur Dioxide
  • Underwater Volcano
  • Tsunami
  • 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.

The Day the World Ended: The Mount Pelée Disaster: May 7, 1902

The true story of a horrifying natural disaster—and the corruption that made it worse—by the New York Times–bestselling authors of Voyage of the Damned.

Island on Fire

Laki is Iceland’s largest volcano. Its eruption in 1783 is one of history’s great, untold natural disasters. Spewing out sun-blocking ash and then a poisonous fog for eight long months, the effects of the eruption lingered across the world for years. 

Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded: August 27, 1883

The bestselling author of The Professor and the Madman and The Map That Changed the World examines the enduring and world-changing effects of the catastrophic eruption off the coast of Java of the earth's most dangerous volcano -- Krakatoa.

Tambora: The Eruption That Changed 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

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! Volcanoes

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 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

“Our Volcanoes for Kids video is a fun and engaging way to introduce volcanoes to children. In this video kids will learn all about volcanoes and take away some fun interesting facts everyone should know.”

All About Volcanoes: How They Form, Eruptions & More!

This week, Jessi and Squeaks explore nature’s way of letting off a little steam. Discover the exciting world of volcanoes!

Explore Volcanoes With Nat Geo Kids! 

Videos About Volcanoes on YouTube for Middle Schoolers

Finding Stuff Out – “Volcanoes” Season 1, Episode 13 

The Big Question: “What would happen if someone cracked the Earth?” Synopsis: Harrison gets permission from his school to build a very large volcano and with the help of a real-life volcanologist he creates a grand finale in the form of one of the largest mentos and cola eruptions ever concocted on television! Viewers learn what to do if the earth starts shaking.

All About Volcanoes for Children: Introduction to Volcanoes for Older Kids

One of the most dramatic landforms on planet earth, volcanoes come in many different shapes and sizes. Learn how volcanoes form, what types and structures they can be, and what types of lava and rock they produce in this comprehensive introduction to volcanoes. With information on how volcanoes form and eruptions to watch, you’ll love this video!

Volcanoes for Kids | How Volcanoes Work | Earth Science

Do you know how Volcanoes Work? What makes Volcanoes Erupt? Mother Earth is here to explain. Volcanoes are openings on the Earth’s surface where LAVA escapes. Confused about Lava vs Magma? Lava is another word for molten rock (magma) when it escapes above the Earth’s crust.

YouTube Videos About Volcanoes for High Schoolers

Volcanoes 101 | National Geographic

About 1,500 active volcanoes can be found around the world. Learn about the major types of volcanoes, the geological process behind eruptions, and where the most destructive volcanic eruption ever witnessed occurred.

Kilauea Volcano Eruption | A Perfect Planet | BBC Earth

Why the Yellowstone Supervolcano Could Be Huge

One of the world’s largest supervolcanoes erupted 2.1 million years ago in Yellowstone, and then twice more there at intervals of roughly 660,000 years. Are we due for another one soon?

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

Life on Fire: Wildlife on the Volcano's Edge

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.

Living Volcanoes

Around the world, up to 30 volcanoes erupt every day. Meet the people and wildlife that live alongside these volcanoes from Kilauea to Mount Etna, and discover how volcanoes cause destruction but also create and nurture life.

Volcano on Fire

Climb up the cone of Nyiragongo, one of the world's least studied volcanoes, and join volcanologists as they descend into its crater, down towards its bubbling lava lake. When will it erupt next?

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:

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

Beaker Creatures, Bubbling Volcano Reactor

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.

The Magic School Bus: Blasting Off with Erupting Volcanoes Kit

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.

Volcanoes Lapbook

Volcanoes are a very fascinating geological feature. They are found all over the world, including on ocean floors and in our solar system. This lapbook includes a complete Study Guide and all of the templates that you will need to create a 3-folder project. No other resources required!

Middle School Volcano Activities

Massive Erupting Volcano

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

Erupting Volcano Model

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

Parts of a Volcano Printable

Volcanoes Worksheets

Volcano Worksheet and Handprint Art

Volcanoes Printables for Middle Schoolers

Volcanoes Booklet

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!

volcano eruption graphic with the text overlay

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 to get some great themed studies that are already put together for you!

What else will you be include in your Volcanoes Unit Study?

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