10 Volcano Activities for Middle School

Have your kids ever made a volcano?

It seems every year we find a reason to break out the vinegar, baking soda, and red food coloring for more volcano activities.

Completing a volcano project is the perfect way to add extra fun to your earth science lessons, and to ancient history studies of the city of Pompeii.  You can even make a volcano when when reading Journey to the Center of the Earth. During middle and high school geography lessons teens learn about the four forms of orogenesis (the process of making new mountains). We've included lots of tools to help kids learn about volcanoes.

This post contains affiliate links.

We have used volcano activities to add extra fun to our earth science lessons, and to our ancient history studies of the city of Pompeii.  We even made a volcano when our book club read Journey to the Center of the Earth .

During our middle and high school geography lessons with North Star Geography we learned about the four forms of orogenesis (the process of making new mountains), including:

  • Plate convergence
  • Subduction
  • Obduction
  • Volcanic activity

There are so many reasons to have some fun with a volcano activity!

Geography bundle -- North Star Geography and WonderMaps

10 Volcano Activities for Middle School

Here are some of our favorite cool online volcano activities and resources including explosions, food & fun!

1.Use maps to locate U.S. volcanoes and current Activity Alerts

2. Watch a simple experiment to see how a caldera (large volcanic depression) is formed

3. Download a poster to learn about the geologic hazards at volcanoes

4. Separate fact from fiction and find answers to frequently asked questions about volcanoes in movies

5. Find more than 15 amazing volcano videos from Discovery

Completing a volcano project is the perfect way to add extra fun to your earth science lessons, and to ancient history studies of the city of Pompeii.  You can even make a volcano when when reading Journey to the Center of the Earth. During middle and high school geography lessons teens learn about the four forms of orogenesis (the process of making new mountains). We've included lots of tools to help kids learn about volcanoes.

6. Some volcanoes erupt underwater and their hot by-products are cooled immediately – Make a volcano in a cup with erupting wax

7. Build your own erupting volcano with items found around the house

8. What do shaking a can of soda and a volcanic eruption have in common (besides making a BIG mess)?

9. Bake chocolate volcano cupcakes

10. Make a delicious volcano cake complete with “molten lava”

What is your family’s favorite volcano activity?

 


How to Build Strong ACT Test Taking Strategies in 4 Weeks – GIVEAWAY

If your high school student has a a goal to attend college then you know good grades, a strong transcript, and extracurricular activities are just part of the equation.  The other important piece of the puzzle most college require is a great score on the SAT or ACT college entrance exams.

The SAT and ACT exams are structured differently, therefore students must determine which exam to take.  To make their decision high schoolers should do some research to figure out which exam best fits their academic knowledge and strengths.  They also need to know if a particular exam is preferred by the college(s) they will be applying to.

Build ACT Test Taking Strategies - GIVEAWAY - Education Possible

If your student decides to take the ACT we have some great news!  We are happy to share some wonderful resources to help build strong ACT test taking strategies in just 4-5 weeks.  Like most other teens we know, our high school aged children have full, busy schedules so they understand the importance of brief, focused, and effective exam review tools.  Fortunately that is exactly what REA’s ACT Strategy Smart and Math for the ACT deliver.

ACT Strategy Smart

Complete test prep in just one book (with online resources available)! 

ACT Strategy Smart, a 400+ page book from REA, offers students a 4 (or 5) week study program that includes important test-taking strategies, practice questions, and a review of knowledge/skills needed before taking the ACT. The information is relevant and organized which means that all study time will be focused and effective.

The ACT includes 4 subtests: English, Math, Reading, and Science Reasoning.  There is also an optional Writing Test.

This book and online tools offers one week-long study section for each of the subtest subjects — the 4 main areas as well as the optional writing section. The weekly review process will look like this:

  1. Review the information in the book
    • Understand the basic format of the test section – how many and what type of questions are included, how the questions will be presented, etc.
    • The time limit for this test section
    • General steps and strategies for approaching test questions
    • Review information for the exam content – this includes a general overview of the topic, examples, “Heads Up” & “Strategy Alert” notices to highlight key content and provide tips for figuring how to effectively approach a question and determine an answer
  2. Test and get feedback 
    • After reviewing information in the book students go to the REA Online Study Center to take a full-length practice test for that week’s subject
    • Tests are automatically scored giving students instant feedback
    • On-screen detailed explanations of answers include the correct answer along with information about why the other answer choices were incorrect
    • Score reports show students what they know and areas where they need to improve
  3. Improve your score
    • Using the feedback reports students know what information to go back and review further.  Students can use the book to focus on just the areas that need additional attention before moving forward. Once the material is mastered students can move on to the next subtest area.

At the end of the 4-5 week ACT study program students will take a full-length practice exam covering all sections.  This exam will also give a detailed score report to note if any address require additional practice and review.

In reviewing this guide with my teen we both appreciated the straightforward nature of the guide.  Yes, it is long at 400+ pages, but the information is presented in a way that is clear, easy to follow, and to the point.  Diagrams and bullet point lists are used effectively, rather than a lot of long paragraphs. The test question solutions are helpful in pointing out strategies for recognizing and understanding terms often used in the exam questions.

ACT Strategy Smart

Math for the ACT

What do your students do if math isn’t their strongest subject or if they work through the ACT Strategy Smart book and they need additional help to improve their math score?

They can move onto REA’s Math for the ACT.  Written by Bob Miller, a math teacher with more than 30 years of experience, Math for the ACT offers detailed review opportunities for all of the math skills students will find on the ACT exam.

This 300+ page book includes:

16 chapters to review concepts and terms for topics covered by the ACT math exam, example questions, solutions with explanations, and practice exercises. Topics covered are:

  • Chapter 1 – Basic Basics
  • Chapter 2 – Arithmetic
  • Chapter 3 – Exponents
  • Chapter 4 – Radicals
  • Chapter 5 – Algebraic Skills
  • Chapter 6 – Equations and Inequalities
  • Chapter 7 – Problems with Words
  • Chapter 8 – Working with Two or More Unknowns
  • Chapter 9 – Points and Lines
  • Chapter 10 – Angles and Triangles
  • Chapter 11 – More Two-Dimensional Figures
  • Chapter 12 – Circles
  • Chapter 13 – Three-Dimensional Figures
  • Chapter 14 – Other Algebraic Topics – functions, parabolas, absolute value graph, logarithms
  • Chapter 15 – Trigonometry
  • Chapter 16 – Important Miscellany – counting, probability, charts & graphs, sets, matrices, translations, and more

The remainder of the book offers 4 sample ACT Math exams with answers. Students are encouraged to take their time working through the first few tests in order to apply what they have learned. When taking the final sample test students can consider timing themselves to get an understanding of the timing for the actual exam.

After completing each sample test students can use the answers provided to review each question to ensure understanding.

Everything your student will need for the ACT math exam review is included in this book, there are no online activities or resources with this guide.

Math for the ACT

Where Can You Find ACT Strategy Smart & Math for the ACT?

These very helpful ACT exam review and practice guides are available from REA.com.

Here is the GREAT news!  REA is offering a 20% discount on ACT review guides for Education Possible readers!

Visit the REA website and enter the code WEAM to receive your discount.

ACT Exam Prep - GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY

ACT exam time will be here before you know it!  Our friends at REA would like for your high school student to be as prepared as possible for the ACT exam so they are offering our Education Possible readers the opportunity to win a copy of:

ACT Strategy Smart

and

Math for the ACT

ACT Test Strategies GIVEAWAY - Education Possible

Enter to win using the widget below:

The Ultimate Guide to Middle School Literature

During the middle school years students will begin to ask more questions and think critically about the information they are learning.

This is the perfect time to introduce children to classic literature and a variety of literary genres. It is also a great time to encourage students to have conversations about the books and stories they are reading.

Since our children were young we have coordinated a Book Club so they can explore works of literature with their friends.  By engaging in discussions and hands-on learning activities they have developed a love of reading and sharing great books with their friends.

We have a fondness for great literature, so we gathered a number of wonderful resources here in our Ultimate Guide to Middle School Literature. Wide variety of reading genres, perfect for teens. Homeschool book club ideas and activities too. Get tweens and teens talking about books and world views. Classic books, fantasy, adventure, biographies, personal growth, etc.

Because of our fondness for great literature we have gathered a number of wonderful resources to share with you our Ultimate Guide to Middle School Literature:

Book Lists

5 Contemporary Novels Middle Schoolers Will Enjoy

5 Interesting Biographies to Inspire Preteens

Challenge Middle Schoolers with these 5 Excellent Classics

Fantastic Adventures Await Young Teens in these 5 Books

52 Story Books for Middle Schoolers in A Year

50+ Books for a 5th Grader who Loves to Read

50+ Books for a 6th Grader Who Loves to Read

60+ Books for a 7th Grader Who Loves to Read

45 Books for an 8th Grader Who Loves to Read

40 Fiction Books for Boys

40 MORE Books for Boys

Middle School Series Books Summer Reading List ~ FREE PRINTABLE

17 Living Books about the World Wars for Middle School Kids

Free Classics List by Grade Level

We have a fondness for great literature, so we gathered a number of wonderful resources here in our Ultimate Guide to Middle School Literature. Wide variety of reading genres, perfect for teens. Homeschool book club ideas and activities too. Get tweens and teens talking about books and world views. Classic books, fantasy, adventure, biographies, personal growth, etc.

Middle School Literature Hands-on Activities

Literature Learning Activities for Middle School – Link up

A Book and a Movie: Mary Poppins

Kingdom Keepers Quests at Disney’s Magic Kingdom

The Secret Garden – Book Study & Activities

Around the World in 80 Days – Book Study & Activities

Peter Pan – Learning Activities

Literature Lessons from Disney’s Magic Kingdom

Amos Fortune: Literature Project – After reading Amos Fortune, assign this simple project to help your middle schooler learn to analyze the themes from the book.

Black Cauldron movie night

Johnny Tremain book and a movie

Book and a Movie: Pictures of Hollis Woods

Island of the Blue Dolphins Learning Activities

The Secret Garden – Make Your Own Terrarium [FREE Printable]

The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Simple Stained Glass Activity

Pinocchio – Make Your Own Marionettes

Mapping Fogg’s Trip Around the World in Eighty Days

Fun Family Activities for Swiss Family Robinson

We have a fondness for great literature, so we gathered a number of wonderful resources here in our Ultimate Guide to Middle School Literature. Wide variety of reading genres, perfect for teens. Homeschool book club ideas and activities too. Get tweens and teens talking about books and world views. Classic books, fantasy, adventure, biographies, personal growth, etc.

Book Clubs and Discussion Starters

Teen Book Club Ideas: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Teen Book Club Ideas: The Indian in the Cupboard

Teen Book Club Ideas: The Red Badge of Courage

Teen Book Club Ideas: The Giver

Teen Book Club Made Easy with Dover Study Guides: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Learning with Other Families: Start a Middle School Book Club

Bibliovores: The Candymakers

Bibliovores: The Castle Corona

Bibliovores: Padding at Large

Bibliovores: Hitty, Her First Hundred Years

Bibliovores: Summer of the Monkeys

Bibliovores: The One and Only Ivan

Bibliovores: Hailstones and Halibut Bones

Bibliovores: George Muller

The How To’s For Book Clubs: Example of a Teen Themed Book Club

We have a fondness for great literature, so we gathered a number of wonderful resources here in our Ultimate Guide to Middle School Literature. Wide variety of reading genres, perfect for teens. Homeschool book club ideas and activities too. Get tweens and teens talking about books and world views. Classic books, fantasy, adventure, biographies, personal growth, etc.

Middle School Literature Resources, Printables, and More

How to Make the Best Teen Summer Reading List (FREE Printable)

40 Free Literature Resources Students Will Flip For

How To Teach Shakespeare (Even When You Think You Aren’t a Fan)

Bringing Classic Literature to Life with Unit Studies

Meeting American Girl Author Valerie Tripp

Tools for Homeschooling Middle School: Teaching Language Arts & Literature

Which Biography Series is Right for Your Middle School Student?

Biography Report Form/Organizer [FREE Printable]

Using Picture Books to Teach Writing Styles – Using picture books to teach writing styles is a series of posts that use children’s literature as mentor texts for teaching middle school students how to write persuasive essays, narratives, biographies and more.

Living Literature Top 10 Index – This living literature list includes topics ranging from character training to science, and everything in between.

Creating a Themed Literature Unit for Middle School

Why You Should Track Teen Reading

Above & Beyond Five in a Row for Middle School

We have a fondness for great literature, so we gathered a number of wonderful resources here in our Ultimate Guide to Middle School Literature. Wide variety of reading genres, perfect for teens. Homeschool book club ideas and activities too. Get tweens and teens talking about books and world views. Classic books, fantasy, adventure, biographies, personal growth, etc.

Looking for more great learning resources?  Our friends at iHomeschool Network have created a number of very helpful Ultimate Guides to help with your homeschool journey.  Be sure to check them out today!

iHomeschooling Network Ultimate Guides

 


Best Guides for AP Exam Prep – GIVEAWAY

Spring is in the air and that means many high school students are preparing to take Advanced Placement (AP) Exams. AP courses and AP exams offer teens an opportunity to dig into a subject a little deeper, build study skills for college, and possibly earn college credits while still in high school.

The AP exam process can be challenging, but there is good news!  Students can easily create a focused AP exam prep plan based on their specific subject knowledge and test taking strategies.

Best Guides for AP Exam Prep - GIVEAWAY ending 4/21/16  The AP exam process can be challenging for your high school student, but there is good news!  Students can easily create a focused AP exam prep plan based on their specific subject knowledge and test taking strategies.  These guides are perfect for homeschooled high schoolers.

Using the thorough but flexible resources available from REA your students can study smarter for their upcoming AP Exams.

Be sure to enter our GIVEAWAY below!

All Access AP Exam Prep

Teens are busy! So, for many students, a self-paced customizable AP exam prep plan will be a lifesaver.

Using REA’s All Access AP Exam Prep guides and online tools students will follow a 3 step process to create a personalized study plan that will ensure success:

  1. Exam content review – Students start by reviewing all topics included on the AP exam.
  2. Assessment & Feedback – Next, students test themselves to understand what they know and where they need further help. Quizzes and mini-tests are provided.
  3. Score improvement – Finally, students create a study plan and personalized learning/review tools (e-Flashcards) to address the areas where they are weakest.

At the end of the review process students can take a full-length practice test to gain a better understanding of the AP exam format, timing, and scoring.

Additional benefits of the All Access AP Exam Prep system include:

  • 8-week Study Plan (this can be adjusted based on how many weeks your student has to study)
  • Explanation of the types of questions found on the exam (multiple-choice and free-response)
  • Strategies for the exam and each question type

As an example of all that is included, let’s take a look at the

AP Calculus AB/BC All Access Guide:

This 400+ page guide includes:

Strategies for the Exam – Format and content of the exams, general strategies for the exam, strategies for each question type, tips for using calculators.

A Precalculus Review + Quiz

Basic Calculus Concepts and Limits + Quiz

AP Calculus AB

– Basic Calculus Concepts and Limits + Quiz

– Derivatives + Quiz

– Applications of Differentiation + Quiz and Mini-Test

– Integration + Quiz

– Applications of Integration + Quiz and Mini-Test

AP Calculus BC

– Additional Limit and Integration Problems + Quiz

– Additional BC Calculus Applications + Quiz

– Sequences and Series + Quiz and Mini-Test

AP Calculus AB Practice Exam (with answer Key and detailed explanation of answers)

AP Calculus BC Practice Exam (with answer Key and detailed explanation of answers) 

REA All Access Guides are available for the following exams:

AP Biology

AP Calculus AB/BC

AP Chemistry

AP English Language and Composition

AP Environmental Science

AP French Language and Culture

AP Human Geography

AP Microeconomics & Macroeconomics

AP Psychology

AP Spanish Language and Culture

AP Statistics

 AP U.S. Government and Politics

AP U.S. History

AP World History

Best Guides for AP Exam Prep - GIVEAWAY ending 4/21/16  The AP exam process can be challenging for your high school student, but there is good news!  Students can easily create a focused AP exam prep plan based on their specific subject knowledge and test taking strategies.  These guides are perfect for homeschooled high schoolers.

Crash Course for AP Exam Prep

What if your teen a bit of a procrastinator (like mine) and has just a few weeks left for AP exam prep?  Or, maybe they have completed the more detailed All Access Guide and want a streamlined guide to review in the 2 weeks leading up to the exam.

We have good news – REA offers AP Exam Prep Crash Course guides to help students study quickly and efficiently.

The REA Crash Course guides include concise information including:

  • Overview of the AP course curriculum in a clear, outline format
  • Review of just the material actually found on the exam
  • Strategies and tips for answering every type of question on the exam
  • Online practice exam to identify your strengths and weaknesses.

To help you understand exactly a Crash Course covers, let’s take a look at the

AP U.S. Government and Politics Crash Course:

Part I – Introduction

– Seven Keys for Success on the AP U.S. Government and Politics Exam

– Key Terms

Part II – Key Content Review

– 14 chapters covering exam topics areas such as The Constitution, Political Parties, Congress, Civil Liberties, etc.

– Chapters include key ideas, famous people, key concepts, dates, definitions, examples, and more.

Part III – Key Themes and Facts

– Top 30 Supreme Court Cases

– Top 10 Acts of Congress

– Top 20 Topics

Part IV – Test-Taking Strategies

– Strategies for the multiple-choice questions

– Strategies for the free-response questions

Online Practice Exam

REA Crash Course Guides are available for the following exams:

AP Art History

AP Biology

AP Calculus AB/BC

AP Chemistry

AP English Language and Composition

AP English Literature and Composition

AP Environmental Science

AP European History

AP Human Geography

AP Microeconomics

AP Macroeconomics

AP Physics I

AP Psychology

AP Statistics

 AP U.S. Government and Politics

AP U.S. History

AP World History

Where Can You Find All Access & Crash Course AP Exam Prep Guides?

These very helpful AP exam prep guides are available from REA.com.

Here is the GREAT news!  REA is offering a 20% discount on AP exam prep guides for Education Possible friends!

Visit the REA website and enter the code WEAM to receive your discount.

Best Guides for AP Exam Prep - GIVEAWAY ending 4/21/16  The AP exam process can be challenging for your high school student, but there is good news!  Students can easily create a focused AP exam prep plan based on their specific subject knowledge and test taking strategies.  These guides are perfect for homeschooled high schoolers.

We are also happy to announce a GIVEAWAY for two of the most popular REA exam prep titles!

One Education Possible reader will win a copy of:

AP Calculus AB/BC All Access Guide and

AP U.S. Government and Politics Crash Course

Best Guides for AP Exam Prep - GIVEAWAY ending 4/21/16  The AP exam process can be challenging for your high school student, but there is good news!  Students can easily create a focused AP exam prep plan based on their specific subject knowledge and test taking strategies.  These guides are perfect for homeschooled high schoolers.

Enter to win using the widget below

Best Online Homeschool Courses for Middle & High School

As homeschoolers move into the middle school and high school years many parents begin to search for online course options for their students.

There are many reasons for selecting online homeschool courses – to help students pursue an academic interest or passion, to introduce students to different teachers and teaching styles, to best fit a student’s learning style or schedule, etc.

As our own children were moving from the middle school to high school years they began taking several online courses for these same reasons. Overall our experiences have been very positive and our students are interested in taking more online courses over the next few year.

There are many reasons for selecting online homeschool courses – to help students pursue an academic interest or passion, to introduce students to different teachers and teaching styles, to best fit a student’s learning style or schedule, etc. Since the world is our classroom, online courses are perfect for middle & high school kids learning at home.

This post contains affiliate links.

Since we are beginning to make plans for the next semester we asked some of our friends in the Education Possible Discussion Group to share their favorite online homeschool courses for middle and high school.  Here are their recommendations!

Online Homeschool Courses

Language Arts

Fortuigence – Online self-paced Essay Rock Star course – 5 Steps for your teenager to master non-fiction writing that directly impacts their high school grades, college acceptance, and career so they can excel in life.  Includes 4 essay types – Textual Analysis Essay, Expository Essay, Persuasive Essay, and Personal Statement.

Middlebury Interactive Languages – Digital world language courses for grades K-12. Chinese, French, Spanish, and German are offered.

265

History & Geography

Advanced US History with Krista Guardino –  US History: How the United States Transitioned from 13 Colonies to World Superpower. Students will get access to University-level resources and personalized coaching, with the convenience and flexibility of an online class.

Compass Classroom – This multi-sensory, faith-based American history curriculum takes teens from Meso-America through to Theodore Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington.

North Star Geography – Online, comprehensive world geography course.

Bright Ideas Press

Math & Science

Mr. D Math – Live, online courses for Algebra, Geometry, ACT/SAT Test Prep and more.

NatureGlo’s eScience – Live and hybrid classes for Marine Biology, Math Art, Rocks & Minerals, Zoology, and more.

Want a Homeschool Friendly SAT Math Prep Course? Just when our family settled into homeschooling high school, the next big hurdle began creeping up on us — college entrance exams! Math has always been a challenge in our homeschool so we knew we would need some extra help preparing for the math portion of the exams. After doing our research we found the most effective option to be a live online SAT math prep course. It has lots of activities to help with mastering the test.

Electives

Blossoming Artists – Online, live, interactive art classes for drawing and painting.

Impact Virtual – Hybrid-Live Classes for Grades 6-12. Course areas include Digital Arts, Coding, Humanities, and more.

Loving Learning Freely – Online Unit Studies (cloud-based eCourses for homeschoolers). Topics offered for art, history, science, and more.

Sparketh – 100+ online art lessons for kids and teens.

Textile Learning – Online, engaging, self-paced courses in Sociology, Media, Theater, Medicine, Personal Fitness, and more.

Thinker Academy – Online course –  Critical Thinking and Study Skills for Teens.

CurrClick

Websites with Courses for Multiple Grades & Subjects

Alpha Omega – Online and digital courses for grades 3-12.

Apex Learning – Online full-time virtual school and individual course enrollment.

CurrClick LIVE – All Classes Affordable and A la Carte. Live, self-paced, and hybrid classes for all grades and subjects.

Easy Peasy All-in-One High School – Free online courses and resources for homeschool families.

Florida Virtual School – More than 150+ free online accredited courses for Florida residents. (FLVS Global is a paid version for non-Florida residents).

FunCation Academy – Offers online live course options, self-paced courses, assessments, tutoring, and more. For grads Prek-12.

Landry Academy –  Online classes for 4th through 12th grade students on a wide variety of standard subjects, several unique electives, week-long summer camps are for 8th through 12th grade students, and more.

Memoria Press Classical Education – Online Academy for grades 3-12.

Northstar Academy – Accredited online Christian school serving grades 4-12, custom-tailored for families around the world.

Potter’s School – The Potter’s School offers a complete curriculum of high quality on-line elementary , junior high and senior high courses, taught from a biblical worldview (including AP and college credit courses).

Schoolhouse Teachers – Over 200 courses covering preschool through 12th grade. Provides homeschooling families worldwide what they need to achieve academic success for a Christian education at their own pace and on their own timeline.

Shmoop –  Free Learning Guides, Online Courses, College Readiness Prep, and Test Prep balance a teen-friendly, approachable style with academically rigorous materials

Time4Learning – Homeschool curriculum – math, language arts, and more for PreK-12th grade.

Virtual Homeschool Group – Online Homeschool Co-op.  Free courses, volunteer based and donation supported.  By homeschoolers for homeschoolers.

There are many reasons for selecting online homeschool courses – to help students pursue an academic interest or passion, to introduce students to different teachers and teaching styles, to best fit a student’s learning style or schedule, etc. Since the world is our classroom, online courses are perfect for middle & high school kids learning at home.

Tips Before Starting Online Homeschool Courses

As stated earlier, there are many benefits of online classes.  Here are a few more things to keep in mind as you and your student being researching online courses:

We would love to hear from you – what are your favorite resources for online homeschool courses?