Activity Introduction

AFI_20e21_Photoframe_Science lesson

Quick summary: In this Science lesson, students consider the relationship between bushfires, climate change and the four spheres. They are supported to consider the complexity of these relationships through scaffolded discussion and multimedia content. Students will have the opportunity to create a visual presentation that will aim to discuss and articulate their understanding of bushfires using visual conventions.

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand the four spheres and their relationship to bushfires
  • Students understand how climate change affects and is affected by, bushfires
  • Students communicate their findings.

21st-century skills: 

  Community EngagementCommunicatingCritical ThinkingGlobal CitizenshipProblem FindingProblem Solving          

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Years 8 Science:

  • Global systems, including the carbon cycle, rely on interactions involving the biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere (ACSSU189)
  • Communicate scientific ideas and information for a particular purpose, including constructing evidence-based arguments and using appropriate scientific language, conventions and representations. (ACSIS208)

Syllabus outcomes: SC5-12ES, SC5-9WS

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capability, Literacy, Personal and Social Capability.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Relevant parts of Year 8 Science achievement standards: Students describe and analyse interactions and cycles within and between Earth’s spheres.

Topic: Climate change and the Australian bushfires

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: A Fire Inside: Feature Documentary Years 7 to 10.

Time required: 120 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion and prompt students to make connections between A Fire Inside and how climate change and the four spheres are affected by the recent bushfires in Australia.

Resources required:

  • A device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Post-it notes, whiteboard and markers
  • PowerPoint presentation:  A Fire Inside: The Four Spheres
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student.

Keywords: Climate change, Australian bushfires, the sphere of influence, relationships.

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


Teacher Worksheet

AFI_20e21_Photoframe_Science lessonTeacher Preparation

Before teaching the lessons, ensure you have watched the feature documentary “A Fire Inside” rated MA15+ and have gained approval from parents and guardians before viewing the documentary or specific clips produced for Cool. Consider completing the first lesson: Viewing The Film to ensure students have a clear understanding of the feature documentary and how to apply their knowledge and critical thinking skills. 

To view the film you can rent or purchase an online copy from Google PlayApple TVPrime Video, or Ritz at home.

Students may develop heightened emotions and discomfort during the film. It is recommended that you direct students to a school counsellor if they require additional support and read through the Handling Sensitive Topics and Issues Template document.

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • ...understand the four spheres and their relationship to bushfires
  • ...understand how climate change contributes to bushfires.

Success criteria: St

- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Student Worksheet

1. Write down and reflect:

After watching the clip from A Fire Inside, reflect and write down what you know about bushfires and how they impact the four spheres.

Biosphere  Hydrosphere Lithosphere Atmosphere
Major and irreversible disturbance to some plant communities...
Animals are ...

2. How could conditions within each sphere affect bushfires?

Conditions within a sphere  How this might contribute to bushfire intensity, regularity or likelihood:
Hydrosphere: drought, dried-up lakes/other water sources
Lithosphere: dry soil from drought
Atmosphere: lightning, winds, drought (both atmosphere and hydrosphere)


3. Reflect and elaborate on the Bruce Buckley clip:

How does Bruce believe that climate change has affected bushfires?

How does this relate to his position at IAG?

What steps has he taken in response to his findings?

4. How did climate change contribute to

- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.