Montessori Volcano Theme Activities

Use these Volcano Printables to create hands-on learning activities about volcanoes for your students. You can use these cards to teach children about the different types of volcanoes, the shapes of volcanoes, and the continent where they can be found!

You can read through this article for different volcano study activities and extensions. As always, scroll to the end of the post for a link to the printable resources mentioned.

You know that feeling when you present some new materials to your students and they immediately love them? This is exactly what happened with our volcano theme activities! They hit that sweet spot of interest meets challenge meets happy learners!

Introduction to Volcanoes

You can use this material to introduce children to different types of volcanoes. In addition, these types of resources make perfect extensions after the First Great Lesson.

In our home, I have first used them around age 5 to show my children what different volcanoes look like. Following the First Great Lesson, we returned to these cards with renewed interest.

Montessori Volcano Study

You can use these activities and printables to introduce your students to volcanoes of the world. Your students will learn about the different types of volcanoes, the names of real volcanoes, will be able to sort volcanoes by continent, will learn different interesting facts about the volcanoes covered, and more!

This set of materials is intended to provide an overview to children.

As you can see from this photo, I like to add a special book to our shelves. This tends to fit with the bigger, new theme that we are exploring.

I like to introduce a new topic with an interesting book to spark the children’s interest. The book Volcanoes by Sylvaine Peyrols (featured on the shelves above) inspired these activities. This book is very accessible for children of this age and has fascinating images! It serves as a great addition to the study of volcanoes.

There are also several posters I used to decorate our shelves and to serve as an interest point for my children.

Types of Volcanoes

First, I begin with a set of types of volcanoes 3-part cards. These cards show both the internal make-up of volcanoes and their external appearance by type.

My son was 7 years old at the time this photo was taken and found this a very fascinating material to explore.

DIY 3-Part Cards

After using the 3-part cards above, children can make their own set! My son coloured each of the images and then wrote his own labels.

We used the Types of Volcanoes Poster as a way to help him colour the images.

Switch it up: Instead of using coloured pencils, try using different art mediums to make the 3-part cards. How about painting them? Using oil pastels? Watercolours? Whatever you have on hand!

Beginning writers will be so proud to see their own work like this!

He very proudly showed me how he learned about the internal make-up of an active volcano! Look lava!

Make the volcanoes

You can use clay to make the different types of volcanoes. Children can study the different types of volcanoes cards and then use clay to make their own volcanoes!

Use quick dry clay to do this. You can get it here (not an affiliate link). Leave the clay volcanoes to dry on baking paper following the instructions on the packaging.

After the clay has tried, offer paint to the children. They can paint the different parts themselves.

After creating the volcanoes, children can match the volcanoes to the Types of Volcanoes 3-Part Cards.

This beautiful demonstration comes from HOKA ambassador Laura from Montessori Inspired Company who uses our materials with her own sons! You can see the different creative ways she incorporates our materials and many unique ideas here.

Portfolio Work

Here is Hands-on Kids Activities Club member Susan’s student working hard on his notebook. You can see he is writing about different types of volcanoes. First, he writes the name of the volcano and then draws an image.

Keeping a notebook where children can further their research and practice writing is a great idea! Notebooks with work like this allow children to practice retention, and follow their interests.

In addition, a portfolio like this is a fabulous way to track progress and builds confidence. How cool will it be for the child to look through their work, done over the course of a school year! They will be so proud of themselves (and us parent and teacher guides will be, too!)

Volcanoes around the world

Children can use these real image cards to explore different volcanoes around the world.

This activity features the classic set of 3-part cards. In addition, an information card is provided. Here, the child can see the continent where each volcano is located (this continent is highlighted on the map image in the corresponding Montessori colours).

In addition, basic facts are provided about the volcano, including it’s elevation and the type of volcano that it is.

Sort the volcanoes

HOKA member Susan presented the types of volcanoes printables alongside a large map of the world. Children can sort the cards onto the map directly!


Children can line up the different volcanoes based on elevation! Which one is the tallest? Which is the shortest?

Volcano research

This is a great activity to serve as a bouncing off point for research that is typically conducted in lower elementary programmes. Children can select a continent and then make a presentation about the volcanoes that are found there.

Or maybe they want to study one volcano in detail? When did it last erupt? What happened? What type of volcano is it? Can they make a model? There are so many questions we can ask!

Real Images

I made several image cards for my children to explore. However, these photos are a material that both kids can use. For older kids, they can read the simple descriptions of the photos. Younger children can look at the photos to see how volcanoes look in real life.

I am very happy with these cards. I like that the photos cover a variety of phases of a volcano’s life. Plus – that lightning photo is so cool! My kids ended up studying these with magnifying glasses! These photo left quite an impression.

Ask your children what they observe? Let them talk openly without leading an answer. You can make note of the interesting things that the children notice themselves. This can be useful for creating further extensions and activities in the future based on their interest.

Extensions for Elementary:

  • Children can compare the different images.
  • Children can write sentences describing what they observe. Offer paper and pencil and/or the movable alphabet.
  • Create a Venn Diagramme comparing extinct volcanoes to active volcanoes. What are the differences or similarities?
  • Research volcanoes from around the world. Find which are extinct or dormant vs those that are active volcanoes.
  • Create a research project about the consequences of volcanic eruptions. What happens to plant life? To animal life? To the climate? What are the long-term vs short-term results? Use the images as a starting off point.

Note: the printables set includes many more photos than pictured here.

Get the Printables

Discover the HOKA Community

Please do note: the full Geography and Geology Themes and resources are available to HOKA Club members, including our guide that will help to break down the month. Our guide also has several tutorials showing you how to add hands-on activities to this theme. You can learn more about the HOKA programme here.

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