Last July, we had a rocks and minerals unit. Now I’m expanding on that theme with a volcano and earthquake unit … a fascinating study at any age! Along with volcano and earthquake activities using free printables, I have a new themed pack. It’s a Montessori-inspired volcano and earthquake pack for our newsletter subscribers’ resource library!
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Montessori Shelves with Volcano and Earthquake Themed Activities
You’ll find Montessori-inspired earthquake and volcano numbers, letters, and and more (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)
You could mix your volcano and earthquake themed activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special volcano and earthquake themed area something like the one pictured. My shelves at the beginning of our unit have a mixture of skill levels mainly from preschooler through early elementary. Many of the activities can be adapted for a variety of levels. If you’re a homeschooler, just choose the activities that work for your child’s interests and ability levels. If you don’t have room for all the activities you’d like to do, simply rotate them. I’ll be using more earthquake activities later on in the unit.
Even though I have books on shelves, I keep the main Montessori-friendly books for our current theme in a book basket by the themed shelf. You’ll find a few of the books I’ve used here. I’ll publish a volcano and earthquake book post with more details at a later date.
For our monthly featured art print, I purchased a Li’l DAVINCI art frame that opens in the front for easily changing a free art masterpiece printable or vintage illustration to fit with the month’s theme. The frame can be switched from horizontal to vertical without changing the hanger, which is perfect!
Volcanoes and Earthquakes Books with Geology Bookmaking Materials
Free Printable: Layers of the Earth Blackline Masters from The Helpful Garden
Free Printable: Parts of a Volcano Blackline Masters from The Helpful Garden
Free Printable: Volcano Mini Book from Crayola
Free Printable: Volcano Phases from Hill of Fire Unit Study and Lapbook Printables from Homeschool Share
Volcanoes and Earthquakes are a couple of the fascinating Montessori-friendly books we’ll be using along with a geology bookmaking tray. I would probably have a more elaborate bookmaking setup in a Montessori school, but at home you just need to have the materials your children will use in whatever form works for you.⠀
I typically keep the stapler or ribbons for bookmaking in a separate area and keep the main parts of the activity on a Multicraft tray.⠀
DK Smithsonian Super Earth Encyclopedia
On a wooden cookbook holder, I have DK Smithsonian Super Earth Encyclopedia. Like so many of the DK Smithsonian books, it has gorgeous photos and is a wonderful reference book that will be perfect for many unit studies!
I reviewed the elementary geology materials from Alison’s Montessori that you can see a bit of in the background along with the cross-section earth model you see in front of the book. (Note: the cross-section earth model is available from Alison’s Montessori or Amazon.)
Animals Running Away from a Volcano Subtraction Game (or Counting Game)
Free Printables: Volcano Numbers and Number Spinner 1-10 (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber). I printed out two sets of numbers 1-10, the number 0, and the minus and equals signs.
I’ve read stories of animals running away before a volcano erupted, so I decided to use some of our Safari Ltd. Good Luck minis with math printables from our pack to make a subtraction game. Zoey loves making an activity into a game, so I often design activities like these for her.
For this activity, the child spins the spinner twice and selects the numbers. The child places the larger number first to make the equation. Then the required number of animals is placed below the first number before the second number of animals runs away as the volcano is about to erupt. You can have a second equation where the rest run away, too.
A child just learning to count and identify numbers could simply spin the 1-5 or 1-10 spinner, count out that number of animals, and pretend to have them run away.
Another Recommended Free Math Printable: Color by Number Montessori Hundred Board (chart 4 is a volcano) by Plenty of Trays at Teachers Pay Teachers (If you have a child who is working on the Montessori hundred board, I love hundred chart art like this as a fun extension.)
Volcano Salt Writing Tray with Movable Alphabet Spelling
Free Printables: Volcano letter v for salt writing tray (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber).
You’ll see a variety of simple letter writing trays in my previous unit study posts. I often used the wooden tray from the Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Shapes. You can use whatever tray or container work best for you, though.
I typically now use this lovely spelling/alphabet tray from FamilyTreeWW on Etsy. Zoey is 6 and is focusing on spelling a lot. She needs more room for writing longer words. We’re also working on cursive.
If you would like help with introducing phonetic sounds, introducing objects with sounds, or beginning phonics in general, check out my DIY Beginning Montessori Phonics with Preschoolers.
Volcano Word Building with Alphabet Cards in Manuscript and Cursive and Movable Alphabet Letters
Free Printables: Volcano letter v font cards and volcano alphabet cards in manuscript and cursive (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber).
There are many ways you can use the volcano alphabet cards. For example, you could use them for matching letters, ordering letters from a to z, working on learning cursive letters, or word building using manuscript, cursive, or both.
“Ear” Advanced Phonogram Work with Progressive Phonics Materials
Free Printable: “ear” phonogram card (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber).
Free Printables: For this unit, I printed out the ea + r as in “early” and “learn” pages from the Progressive Phonics Advanced Phonics Book 8.
Note: the long ea sound is often the only ea phonogram taught in Montessori. I like to add the Spalding ear as in “earth” or “early” for children with advanced reading skills who are working on spelling.
Progressive Phonics is my favorite early reader series … and it’s free! You can read it online or print out the books. I printed out the books to minimize time online when Zoey was first learning to read. She loved the books then, and she still loves them! They’re so silly that we have fun laughing at them together. And they take the drudgery out of reading when children are first blending words because the child only reads one or a few words in red on each page. The adult reads most of the story, so it’s an enjoyable reading experience from the beginning.
Zoey now likes to go back to the earlier readers and read the child’s and adult’s part of the whole book just because the stories are so funny.
Layers of the Earth and Parts of a Volcano Montessori 3-Part Cards with Parts of a Volcano Craft
Free Printable: Layers of the Earth Nomenclature Cards from The Helpful Garden
Free Printable: Parts of a Volcano Nomenclature Cards from The Helpful Garden
Free Printable: Volcano Resources from Stephanie Hathaway Designs (In addition to the free printables, Stephanie Hathaway also has a volcano unit study bundle you can purchase in her shop or on Etsy.)
Free Printable: Parts of a Volcano Labels from Volcano Mama (Note: There are differences in which parts of a volcano are named, depending on the printable. If you have a specific list you want used, you can always print the names for your child to copy onto his or her completed volcano.)
I printed the template onto cardstock and placed light blue cardstock on the tray for the background. You could print out labels for the parts of the volcano, or your child could write the names on the completed volcano.
Magic School Bus Geology Books with Materials from the Magic School Bus Volcanoes Science Kit
This activity isn’t free, although I’ll use many of the free printables shown above to reinforce its concepts. There are many fun volcano science kits, or you could do entirely DIY volcano science activities. Because Zoey loves the Magic School Bus books, I decided to get a Magic School Bus Volcanoes Science Kit. Not shown is a plastic volcano shape for the child to paint and use for erupting volcano activities, too. I’ll get that out when Zoey’s ready to paint it and do the experiment.
I have three Magic School Bus books we’ll use for the unit: The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth, The Magic School Bus Presents Volcanoes and Earthquakes, and The Magic School Bus Blows Its Top. Two of the books I still had from when I homeschooled my now-adult kids (who also loved the Magic School Bus books)! Note: The Magic School Bus books obviously aren’t Montessori-style books, but they’re designed for kids who understand the difference between reality and fantasy … and they’re so much fun!
Free Montessori-Inspired Volcano and Earthquake Pack
Montessori-Inspired Volcano and Earthquake Pack for DIY Cards and Counters, Number or Letter Matching, Number or Letter Basket, Bead Bar Work, Hands-on Math Operations, Number or Letter Salt/Sand Writing Tray, Letter Tracing, DIY Movable Alphabet, and Creative Writing (subscriber freebie, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password – or check your inbox if you’re already a subscriber).
Free Volcano and Earthquake Printables
I’m no longer publishing a list of free printables from other blogs for each theme. Many of the free printables get changed to paid printables or to subscriber freebies with new links. So it just became too difficult to keep all those links updated while adding new ones each month. Instead, I’ll be sharing many free volcano and earthquake printables (along with a few other types of free printables throughout our unit) as my Free Printable of the Day at our Living Montessori Now Facebook page. For the Free Printable of the Day, I try to share only instant downloads and other free printables that don’t require signing up for a mailing list. I also share each of the Free Printables of the Day to my Free Printable of the Day Pinterest Board.
Of course, be sure to check the activities above for links to the free printables I used. Those are typically instant downloads, although I’ll sometimes use a subscriber freebie from someone’s site. And I feature our subscriber pack for the month!
More Geology Resources
- Free Rocks and Minerals Printables and Montessori-Inspired Rocks and Minerals Activities
- Free Volcano and Earthquake Songs and Educational Videos
- Simple Excavation Sensory Tubs
- Rocks and Minerals Unit Study
- Story Stones – Farm Animal Families Treasure Basket
- Free Rock and Quartzite Do-a-Dot Phonics Printables (Montessori-Inspired Instant Download)
- Free Rocks and Minerals Cutting Strips (Montessori-Inspired Instant Download)
- Free Rocks and Minerals Songs and Educational Videos
- The Best Rock and Mineral Books for Kids
- Free Geology Lessons (20 Pages from KHT Montessori)
- Rocks and Minerals/Geology Unit Study Pinterest Board
If you’d like ideas for calendar-based themes throughout May, see my May Themed Activities for Kids. You’ll find the link to calendar-based activities for June at the bottom of my May calendar post.
Learn more about my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to. Teach Grace and Courtesy!
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