Hands-on learning is very important for middle school age students.
As children move through the middle school years they begin to think more critically and ask many “why” questions. It is not enough to read a fact in a book, they want to test theories and explore possibilities for themselves and hands-on learning activities help to achieve that goal. It’s one of the reasons I use math games for middle school.
Middle school students are also becoming more independent learners. Often they can complete hands-on learning activities with little help from adults. Learning to follow directions and working through a problem in a step-by-step fashion are important skills to develop at this age.
With the help of our friends we have gathered many wonderful hands-on learning activities for middle school students in the areas of Art, Field Trips, History & Geography, Language Arts, Life Skills, Math, and Science.
We hope this list will be a resource families can refer back to whenever they are looking for an interesting project to enhance their learning. We will continue to add projects to this list so check back often for more ideas. If you have an activity to share, please send us a link and we will add it!
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Chuck Close Portraits This study revolves around Chuck Close. Watch a video and read about his life. Then create portraits inspired by his work.
Learning About Perspective Part I This is the first in a two part series about perspective. Using oil pastels we created an image of railroad tracks. The step by step process made it manageable for a wide range of ages, but challenging enough for the older student as well.
History & Geography
Paper Soldiers and Wargames from Junior General
Teaching Values through Service and Leadership – Serving others and taking on new leadership skills are very hands-on life skills perfect for middle school students.
Weekly Homeschool Planning Meeting with Multiple Ages – building the habit of planning is a gift we can give our children. We’ve found that starting a child with his /her own planner in 5th grade and using it through middle school is a great way to promote independent learning.
Living Math: A Round-up of Resources – It doesn’t matter how old your student is, anytime is a good time add living math!
How to Make an Edible Cell Model -The best science models are the ones you can eat! Learn the parts of an animal cell by making a model with cake and candies.
Science Logic Curriculum – an inquiry based, hands-on science curriculum for middle level students (logic stage). Each unit incorporates background information, literature connections, and suggested long-term projects.
Blogs, Link-ups & Online Resources
Be sure to check out our favorite online resources for middle school hands-on learning:
At Curriculum Choice you will find an Ultimate Guide to Choosing Middle School Curriculum by the review authors. The authors at the Curriculum Choice have many, many years of experience teaching middle school between them. They’ve joined together to help you feel confident teaching middle school, too! Following are some of the many middle school reviews our Curriculum Choice authors have written. You’ll enjoy learning more about the plethora of resources available to you as you teach 6th-8th graders!
At Hodgepodge I have a very busy kinesthetic learner middle schooler (whew!) 6th Grade Homeschool Curriculum Choices For a kinesthetic learner with many ‘things’ this storage helps keep her supplies handy.
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