Activity Introduction

Quick summary: In this activity students work in groups to create a maps of bushfires for regions around Australia. Students incorporate major bushfire events from history into their maps, and also look at how climate change might affect bushfire frequency and intensity in the future. Students are asked to create interactive maps about their research and to share these with the class.

Learning goals:

  • Students recognise that bushfires can be a natural part of the Australian landscape.
  • Students recognise that bushfires are caused by a range of factors.
  • Students understand that some parts of Australia are more susceptible to bushfires than others.
  • Students recognise that climate change will contribute to the frequency and intensity of bushfires in Australia.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Year 5 Geography

  • The impact of bushfires or floods on environments and communities, and how people can respond (ACHASSK114)
  • Organise and represent data in a range of formats including tables, graphs and large- and small-scale maps, using discipline-appropriate conventions (ACHASSI096)
  • Present ideas, findings, viewpoints and conclusions in a range of texts and modes that incorporate source materials, digital and non-digital representations and discipline-specific terms and conventions (ACHASSI105)
  • Reflect on learning to propose personal and/or collective action in response to an issue or challenge, and predict the probable effects (ACHASSI104)

Year 6 Science

  • Sudden geological changes or extreme weather conditions can affect Earth’s surface (ACSSU096)
  • Science involves testing predictions by gathering data and using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena (ACSHE098)
  • Scientific knowledge is used to inform personal and community decisions (ACSHE220)
  • Construct and use a range of representations, including tables and graphs, to represent and describe observations, patterns or relationships in data using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS107)
  • Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS110)

Year 6 Geography

  • Organise and represent data in a range of formats including tables, graphs and large- and small-scale maps, using discipline-appropriate conventions (ACHASSI124)
  • Present ideas, findings, viewpoints and conclusions in a range of texts and modes that incorporate source materials, digital and non-digital representations and discipline-specific terms and conventions (ACHASSI133)
  • Reflect on learning to propose personal and/or collective action in response to an issue or challenge, and predict the probable effects (ACHASSI132)

Syllabus OutcomesGE3-2, GE3-3, GE3-4ST3-4WS, ST3-6PW, ST3-9ES

Topic: Climate change

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate discussion, oversee activity.

Resources required: Internet access, student worksheet, materials for making maps.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: None.

Keywords: Bushfires, climate change, Australia, maps.

 

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation:

Overarching learning goal: Through this activity students will recognise that bushfires can be a natural part of the Australian landscape that are caused by a range of factors. Students will understand that some parts of Australia are more susceptible to bushfires than others and that climate change will contribute to the frequency and intensity of bushfires in Australia.

Teacher content information: There has been plenty of talk in the news lately about whether or not climate change will affect bushfires in Australia. There are those that argue that bushfires have been a part of Australia's landscape for a very long time. There are others who argue that while bushfires have long been a part of Australia's landscape, climate change is expected to increase their frequency and intensity.

In response to this debate, the Climate Council released the following points explaining the relationship between bushfires and climate change in Australia:

"1. In Australia, cli

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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: What has burned and what might burn in the future?

Your task is to create a map of the major fires that have occurred in the region you are looking at. Of course there will be many fires that occurred in your region: you should only focus on the big ones, the ones that had the greatest impact and caused the most amount of damage. If you're looking at a region with lots of big fires, stick to the top 10.

You can create your map online or by hand but your map should be interactive, including images, video, quizzes, pop-ups or flaps etc.

You will need to answer the following questions for each fire on your map:

  • When did the fire happen?
  • Where did the fire happen? Where did it start and where did it spread to?
  • How was it started? Did is start naturally or was someone responsible for starting it?
  • How much damage did the fire cause?
  • How long did the fire burn for?

In addition, you will need to find out how climate change might affect the frequency and intensity

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