Homeschooling Printables: All About Volcanoes

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Facts About Volcanoes

Volcano printables
Danita Delimont / Getty Images

 A volcano is an opening in the Earth's surface that can allow gasses, magma and ash to escape. Volcanoes are often found where the Earth's tectonic plates meet. This is also where earthquakes, which can be caused by volcanic eruptions, often occur.

Both earthquakes and volcanoes often occur in an area of the Pacific Ocean basin known as the Ring of Fire, but volcanoes can occur anywhere - even on the ocean floor! Active volcanoes in the United States are found primarily in Hawaii, Alaska, California, Oregon and Washington.

Volcanoes don't just occur on Earth. The largest known volcano in our solar system is found on Mars. 

There are a variety of ways to classify volcanoes. One way is by their activity. Volcanoes are known as :

  • Active - These are volcanoes that have erupted in recent history or are showing signs of activity.
  • Dormant - These volcanoes are currently quiet, but could erupt. 
  • Extinct - These volcanoes that have not erupted in recorded history and are not expected to erupt again.

Another way to classify volcanoes is by their shape. The three main shapes of volcanoes are:

  • Cinder cone - These are the simplest types of volcanoes. They are formed by erupting lava that falls back to the ground around the vent as cinders and quickly cools. Over time, these cooled cinders form a cone shape around the volcano vent.
  • Composite - These are steep-sided volcanoes made up of layers of volcanic rocks, ash, and debris.
  • Shield - These are gently sloping, flat volcanoes shaped like a warrior's shield. They are made by flowing, cooling lava.

Volcano models are fun to make and can demonstrate how volcanoes work. Try these DIY erupting volcanoes:

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Volcano Vocabulary

Print the pdf: Volcano Vocabulary Sheet

Start your study of volcanoes by familiarizing yourself with the basic terminology. Use a dictionary or the Internet to look up each volcano-related vocabulary word. Write the correct word on the blank lines next to each definition.

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Volcano Wordsearch

Print the pdf: Volcano Word Search 

A word search makes a fun way to review vocabulary words! See how well you remember volcano terminology by finding each word among the jumbled letters. Review any terms whose definition you don't remember.

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Volcano Crossword Puzzle

Print the pdf: Volcano Crossword Puzzle

Continue reviewing volcano vocabulary with word puzzles. Fill in the crossword with the volcano related words using the clues provided.

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Volcano Challenge

Print the pdf: Volcano Challenge

See how well your students remember the volcano terms they've learned. In this volcano challenge, students will select the correct answer for each multiple choice option.

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Volcano Alphabetizing Activity

Print the pdf: Volcano Alphabet Activity

Younger children can practice their alphabetizing skills and review volcano related vocabulary at the same time. Place each volcano-themed word from the word bank in correct alphabetical order on the blank lines.

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Volcano Coloring Page

Print the pdf: Volcano Coloring Page

This volcano coloring page provides a way for young students to get involved in volcano study. It can also serve as a quiet activity for students of all ages while you read aloud about volcanoes. Can your student identify the volcano in the background by its shape?

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Volcano Coloring Page

Print the pdf: Volcano Coloring Page 

Students can also use this coloring page as a quiet activity for read-aloud time or as just a fun recap of their study of volcanoes. See if they can identify the volcano by shape. Based on the picture, is it active, dormant or extinct? 

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Volcano Draw and Write

Print the pdf: Volcano Draw and Write

Use this draw and write page to allow your students to share the facts about volcanoes that they found most interesting. Students can draw a volcano related picture and use the blank lines to write about their drawing.

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Volcano Theme Paper

Print the pdf: Volcano Theme Paper

Use the volcano theme paper for students to write a report detailing what they've learned about volcanoes. It can also be used to take notes during the study, for copywork or for volcano-themed creative writing, such as a poem or story.