Activity Introduction

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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 -

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?




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 experim


This lesson is under development and will be launched shortly. Please check back soon.

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