Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students explore what elements need to be present in the environment in order for a fire to start and keep burning: oxygen, fuel, and heat. They use these elements in combination with maps of Australia as a way of predicting where bushfires are likely to occur. They think creatively to design ways to predict and detect bushfires. 

Subjects: HASS Geography. 

Year Level: 6.

Teaching Time: 60 minutes.

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work Resilient Australia: Building Resilience To Natural Disasters – Primary.

Related Professional Development: We encourage you to undertake the free PD Course How to teach a unit on fire and flood resilience for tips on how to best deliver this lesson.

If you’re concerned about the challenging nature of these topics, consider the free PD Course How to approach trauma in the classroom for information on how best to support your students.

21st-century skills: 

Creative ThinkingCritical Thinking

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 6 HASS Geography:

  • Sudden geological changes and extreme weather events can affect Earth’s surface (ACSSU096)

Relevant parts of Year 6 HASS Geography achievement standards: Students propose action in response to a geographical challenge and describe the probable effects of their proposal.

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability. 

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – Facilitate class discussion and explicit learning, support students in independent tasks.

Resources required:

  • Blank maps of Australia – one per student
  • Coloured pencils or textas
  • Device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Individual devices capable of accessing the internet – one per student
  • Maps – PowerPoint
  • White paper – A4 in size – one per student.

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


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will ...

  • … understand ways of predicting where and when a fire is about to start in the bush.

Success criteria: Students can …

  • … describe the three key ‘ingredients’ of a fire
  • … use these elements in combination with maps of Australia as a way of predicting where bushfires are likely to occur
  • … design ways we can use technology to predict and detect these fires in the bush.

Teacher content information:

Handling sensitive topics:

While presenting the lesson, you may notice that students could develop heightened emotions as you uncover the physical and psychological effects of hazards and disasters. Resilience, rebuilding and hope are essential learnings from the lessons. Therefore, it is vital to create a psychologically safe place for students to discuss and debrief, should they need to. The tasks can be activating for some students and could trigger old memories that some students may find challenging to rev

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