Activity Introduction

Bushfires have long been a part of the Australian landscape. Our plants and animals have had to find ways to live with bushfires. Our animals have developed both structural and behavioural adaptations to help them survive bushfire events. And yet, despite these adaptations, our native animals can benefit from having humans – like you – help them when bushfires happen. And did you know, even if you live a long way from where the bushfire is happening, there is still something you can do?

This activity is a great one to do together as a family. Children will need support to complete this activity.

Ideal for: Primary Ages 10 to 12.


  • fresh air
  • be creative
  • think and connect

Time required: 30 minutes.

Curriculum connections: Critical and Creative Thinking, Literacy.

Tips for Parents and Carers

In partnership with The Conversation, the Beyond the Bushfires series brings the words of scientists who are actively involved in research and science communication into classrooms throughout Australia. Students will explore evidence-based research embedded in the context of real-world practice.

Additional thanks to the Ian Potter Foundation, John T Reid Charitable Trusts and The Myer Foundation, for generously supporting the development of these lessons

Lesson & Curriculum Details

Curriculum codes:

Resources Required


[email protected] from Cool Australia

[email protected] resources are designed for parents and teachers to use with children in the home environment. They can be used as stand-alone activities or built into existing curriculum-aligned learning programs. Our [email protected] series includes two types of resources. The first type of resources are fun and challenging real-world activities for all ages. The second type of resource is self-directed lessons for upper primary and secondary students. These lessons support independent learning in remote or school settings.

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



Student Worksheet

How Do Animals Live With Bushfires? - Activity Instructions

Part A: What Does ADAPTATION Mean?

Step 1. In this activity you will look at the adaptations some native fauna has developed to help them live with fire. If you’re unfamiliar with the term adaptation, you could watch the following clip:

Living Things Change: Crash Course Kids (

If you are familiar with the term adaptation, have a go at describing it in your workbook, or have a go at describing it to an adult. 

Note: In summary, adaptation is a characteristic that helps an organism live in its environment.

Step 2. There are two types of adaptations. These are structural adaptations and behavioural adaptations:

  • Structural adaptations are the physical features of an organism
  • Behavioural adaptations are the things organisms do to survive.

Can you think of an example of each in terms of animals? Use your workbook to record some ideas, and check the tips below:

  • Structural adaptation
- or - to view worksheets

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