Quick summary: Students investigate the conditions required to start and sustain fires. They discover that burning is a type of chemical reaction, and design and perform a fair test to accurately collect data. Students explore the requirements for different kinds of burning and speculate about which ones have the potential for being dangerous. They then explore how the traditional practice of cool burns can help to reduce the impacts of devastating hot fires.
- Students recognise the differences between cool and hot burning
- Students understand how the concept of a fire triangle can be used to communicate the elements needed to create and sustain fire
- Students understand the main steps and safety considerations required in designing a fire demonstration.
21st century skills:
Australian Curriculum Mapping
Year 8 Science:
- Chemical change involves substances reacting to form new substances (ACSSU225)
- In fair tests, measure and control variables, and select equipment to collect data with accuracy appropriate to the task (ACSIS141)
- Use scientific knowledge and findings from investigations to evaluate claims (ACSIS234)
Syllabus outcomes: SC4-5WS, SC4-6WS, SC4-8WS, SC4-16CW.
General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Intercultural Understanding.
Relevant parts of Year 8 Science achievement standards: Students compare physical and chemical changes. They consider safety and ethics when planning investigations, including designing field or experimental methods. They explain how modifications to methods could improve the quality of their data and apply their own scientific knowledge and investigation findings to evaluate claims made by others.
Topic: Cool Burning, Indigenous Education.
Unit of work: Cool Burning – Secondary.
Time required: 120 mins.
Level of teacher scaffolding: High – oversee experiment design and completion to ensure student safety throughout.
- Device capable of presenting a website to the class
- Fire Factsheet
- Fire Triangle Image
- Lab Safety Rules
- Materials for experiment – candles, matches, taper, pump water sprayer and Pyrex beakers
- Student Worksheet – one copy per student.
Related professional development:
Keywords: Fire, oxygen, chemical reaction, heat, flame, smoke, fire triangle model, cool burn, hot burn, experiment.
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.
Cool Australia would like to acknowledge the support of the Bennelong Foundation in updating these lessons.
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.