Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students investigate the conditions that are required to start and sustain fires. They apply the concept of the fire triangle to identify the three requirements for starting and sustaining a fire. They describe different kinds of fires, including hot and cool burning.

Learning goals:

  • Students recognise the differences between hot and cool burning.
  • Students understand how a fire triangle model can be used to communicate the elements needed to create and sustain fire.
  • Students understand the main steps and safety considerations in designing a fire demonstration.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, intercultural understanding.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 5 Science:  

  • Solids, liquids and gases have different observable properties and behave in different ways  (ACSSU077)
  • Science involves testing predictions by gathering data and using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena (ACSHE081)
  • With guidance, pose questions to clarify practical problems or inform a scientific investigation, and predict what the findings of an investigation might be (ACSIS231)
  • With guidance, plan appropriate investigation methods to answer questions or solve problems (ACSIS086)
  • Use equipment and materials safely, identifying potential risks (ACSIS088)
  • Compare data with predictions and use as evidence in developing explanations (ACSIS218)
  • Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS093)

Year 6 Science: 

  • Changes to materials can be reversible, such as melting, freezing, evaporating; or irreversible, such as burning and rusting (ACSSU095)
  • With guidance, plan appropriate investigation methods to answer questions or solve problems (ACSIS103)
  • With guidance, pose questions to clarify practical problems or inform a scientific investigation, and predict what the findings of an investigation might be (ACSIS232)
  • Use equipment and materials safely, identifying potential risks (ACSIS105)
  • Compare data with predictions and use as evidence in developing explanations (ACSIS221)
  • Communicate ideas, explanations and processes in a variety of ways, including multi-modal texts (ACSIS110)

Syllabus outcomesST3-4WS, SST2-7PW, ST3-12MW.

Topic: Cool burning

Time required: 40 – 70 minutes depending whether teacher gives a demonstration.

Level of teacher scaffolding:

  1. If students are designing their own experiments, they must be designed and then reviewed by the teacher. 
  2. Consider doing experiments with individual groups, one at a time.
  3. If a safe experimental environment can’t be guaranteed, consider giving a teacher demonstration.

Resources required: Candles that won’t fall over or can be fixed in position, matches, taper candles to light larger candles, hand water pump sprayer and Pyrex beakers, Internet access, Student Worksheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Prezi presentation tool, responding to videos, digital sharing capabilities.

Assessment: The rubric attached is a method for monitoring students’ learning based on chosen criteria and guidelines.

Rubric – Yrs 5&6 – Fire Triangle model

Prior learning: Camp fires, cooking fires, wildfires, matches, candles, fuel lamps and other burning processes.

Safety: Ensure that your students are aware of the safety issues surrounding fire and supervise them closely.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for homework or extension – examine the work of your state’s firefighters.

Keywords: fire, oxygen, chemical reaction, heat, flame, smoke

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum. There is great diversity in histories and cultures among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout Australia. This resource includes investigations into and information about some of them. It has an emphasis, but not an exclusive one, on the histories and cultural practices of the Aboriginal peoples of the Northern Territory. It is underpinned by consultation with Aboriginal communities in various parts of Australia. 

Special thanks to:

Fish River Station, John Daly, Dr Jeremy Russell-Smith, Peter Jacklyn, Peter McConchie, Dr Tommy George, David Claudie, Dale Musgrave, Carolyn George and Victor Steffensen.

Made possible by:

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation:

Overarching goals: In this activity students recognise the differences between cool and hot burnings and understand how the fire triangle model can be used to communicate the elements needed to create and sustain fire. By designing an experiment that communicates the concept of the fire triangle in the form of a physical demonstration, students will be better able to understand the main steps and safety precautions required in designing a fire demonstration.

Teacher content information: Burning is just one kind of chemical reaction. A chemical reaction occurs when chemicals combine to form new substances with new properties. Burning is a rapid type of chemical reaction that produces large amounts of heat and light. An example of a fast chemical reaction is an explosion, such as the exploding of fireworks or a bomb. An example of a slow chemical reaction is rusting (or oxidisation).

One of the chemicals produced during burning is carbon dioxide, which we now refe

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Student Worksheet

Thought starters: is fire alive?

Watch the video: The problems of hot burns - http://vimeo.com/79474010

Have a class discussion about the following questions. Write down some notes.

What are some differences between cool and hot fires?

 

What are some problems with hot fires?

 

Do people benefit from fire?

 

What are some safety issues with fire?

 

The fire triangle

The fire triangle is used by firefighters in countries like Australia and the USA to explain how fires work. They say if one of these three elements is not present then there can’t be a fire. Is this true?

What do the words on the diagram mean?

1.

2.

3.

 

Design a fire triangle experiment

You are to design three experiments to show that a fire needs to have heat, fuel and oxygen to burn if the fire triangle is correct.

Your teacher will show you what equipment is available or whether you can request equipment. He or she may also discuss what you will need to consider when designing your e

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