Free Science Printables for Middle School

I know how much homeschoolers enjoy free printables! But as the kids get older, it is more difficult to find printables that are both educational and suitable for their age.

My mission is to provide teachers and homeschool families with the tools and inspiration to engage their students in meaningful, hands-on science. You will thereby find all sorts of printables for middle school students here, with more added all the time.

I have organized them on my Science Freebies page by category. The list also includes detailed lesson plans and powerpoint presentations in addition to printables.

Please take the time to explore the enormous collection of resources. They are just waiting to be discovered and printed.

scienceprintablesFree Science Printables for Middle School ~ Created by Me

On my Science Freebies page, the printables and lesson plans are broken down by science discipline and include service learning, citizen science, science field trips, and multidisciplinary unit studies.

The most popular printables that I have shared include:

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My recent STEM Club unit study on human anatomy has been so popular that I am now providing it as an exclusive to all new subscribers to my newsletter.

The collection includes over 15 printable pages and handouts for a middle school unit on human anatomy or human body systems.

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Free Science Printables ~ Created by Others

Free Science Printables for Younger Students

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Find more free printables in all subject areas from the iHomeschool Network bloggers.

Geography Activities: Geography Picture Dictionary {Free Printable}

I love to travel and explore new cultures, to learn new languages, and meet new people. Traveling offers us a unique opportunity to learn about the world around us. Field trips are therefore a major part of what we do and how we learn.

Whether we are traveling on holiday in another country or exploring historical and cultural treasures locally – I take advantage of every opportunity to expose my children to the world in which we live. In our homeschool, we dive deeply into history and immerse ourselves in other cultures via geography and language studies.

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Geography Lessons Through Travel

Any type of travel is sure to include numerous opportunities for your kids to study the topics that make of the field of geography.

As your family travels and explores a new area you will most likely look at a map to help find your way to a historic landmark or to your hotel. You might decide to take a hike near a lake or through the mountains. You’ll likely also eat foods that are unique to the area.

All of these activities are included in the study of geography!!

The study of geography includes 3 major categories:

Geography Skills – including map reading, using tools like compasses and atlases, and understanding navigation and cartography.

Physical Geography – similar to earth science, this includes geology, meteorology, oceanography, ecology, and astronomy.

Human Geography – we can understand how people relate to their location and environment by learning about sociology, culture, religion, transportations, agriculture, and economics.

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DIY Geography Picture Dictionary

Years ago, I created a printable Geography Picture Dictionary for my children.  I knew it would be the perfect tool to document the physical geography we observed in South America. Therefore, in preparation for our voyage, I revised it – as the original boxes were really too small for quality illustrations.

While traveling through South America, we created a small illustration for each of the physical geography features we observed. Brochures we collected along the way also helped us. The process also provided us with a special keepsake.

If you are interested in learning more about how I utilized the printable in South America, take a peak at my Geology & Geography of the Galápagos.

Do your children enjoy sketching and doodling? Then a Geography Picture Dictionary is the perfect learning activity.

Download and print the free DIY  Geography Picture Dictionary here.

If you are looking for a high-quality and engaging geography curriculum for middle and high school ages, I encourage you to take a little time to learn more about the program we have been using this year – North Star Geography.  Created by Bright Ideas Press, it has helped my children delve deeper into the three main geography categories: Geography Skills, Physical Geography, and Human Geography.

It provides suggestions for course planning – whether you want to undertake the course in one semester, one year, or more long term. My family is learning more about geography than ever before and the materials make my job easier than I could have imagined!

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Linked up with The Massive Homeschool Geography Guide at iHomeschool Network.

STEM Club: The Rock Cycle

Rocks, like mountains, do not last forever. The weather, running water, and ice wear them down. All kinds of rocks become sediment. Sediment is sand, silt, or clay. As the sediment is buried it is compressed and material dissolved in water cements it together to make it into sedimentary rock. If a great amount of pressure is exerted on the sedimentary rock, or it is heated, it may turn into a metamorphic rock. If rocks are buried deep enough, they melt. When the rock material is molten, it is called a magma. If the magma moves upward toward the surface it cools and crystallizes to form igneous rocks. This whole process is called the Rock Cycle.

In STEM Club this week, I shared a game with the students with which we simulated cycling through the rock cycle. I began the lesson with a visual diagram of the rock cycle laid upon the tables and requested the students copy it into their journals. The three major rock types (igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary) were illustrated, as well as the processes that act upon the rock material.

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Magma is molten rock.  Igneous rocks form when magma solidifies. If the magma is brought to the surface by a volcanic eruption, it may solidify into an extrusive igneous rock. Magma may also solidify very slowly beneath the surface. The resulting intrusive igneous rock may be exposed later after uplift and erosion remove the overlying rock. The igneous rock,  may then undergo weathering and erosion and the debris produced is transported and ultimately deposited (usually on a sea floor) as sediment.

If the unconsolidated sediment becomes lithified (cemented or consolidated into rock), it becomes a sedimentary rock. As the rock is buried the additional layers of sediment and sedimentary rock build and thereby heat and pressure increase. Tectonic forces may also increase the temperature and pressure. If the temperature and pressure become high enough, usually at depths greater than several kilometers below the surface, the original sedimentary rock is no longer in equilibrium and recrystallizes.

The new rock that forms is called a metamorphic rock. If the temperature gets very high the rock melts and becomes magma again, completing the cycle. The cycle can be repeated, as implied by the arrows. However, there is no reason to expect all rocks to go through each step in the cycle. For instance, sedimentary rocks might be uplifted and exposed to weathering, creating new sediment.

Rock Cycle Game

Set up eight stations at which a change in the rock cycle occurs:

  • Earth’s Interior
  • Soil
  • River
  • Ocean
  • Clouds
  • Mountains
  • Volcano

Each student starts at one area. At each area is a die that the student should role to determine what path they should take. It is possible for the student to remain at the same station for a long time.  To alleviate frustration, I thereby stated that after 3 turns the student could go to another station.

While at each station and while moving to the different stations, students must record what is happening. For example,

“I began my adventure at ________ .  The first thing that happened was _________, then I went to ___________.”

Students continued to work through the rock cycle for several minutes (until the majority had cycled through 12 steps).

Cartoons

After their journey through the rock cycle is complete, students are encouraged to create a cartoon describing their adventures in the rock cycle. Each cartoon page should be divided so there are 12 boxes (one for each ‘step’ in the rock cycle).

Try it yourself! Download the student handouts and station cards .. Rock Cycle Journey.