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 knowledge of Indigenous Australians can be used to manage land.
- 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.
- Students explore how the traditional knowledge of Indigenous Australians can be used to manage land.
Australian Curriculum content descriptions:
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.
Time needed: 40 – 70 minutes, depending on whether the teacher does a demonstration.
Level of teacher scaffolding:
- If students are designing their own experiments, they must be overseen and then reviewed by the teacher.
- Consider doing experiments with individual groups one at a time.
- If a safe experimental environment can’t be guaranteed, consider doing a teacher demonstration.
Resources needed: Digital projector or Smart Board, candles, matches, taper, hand water pump sprayer and Pyrex beakers.
Assessment: See the rubric at the end of the teacher worksheet.
Extension opportunities: Examine the work of your state’s firefighters.
Safety: Ensure your students remain safe around fire and that they understand the potential risks if fire is not used responsibility.
Key words: 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: