Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students use the fire triangles to understand the elements that influence how fires burn and behave. They conduct a risk assessment of their local area based on these elements, predicting where they might be most vulnerable to a bushfire event.

Subjects: Geography. 

Year Level: 5.

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: 

Community EngagementCritical ThinkingProblem Finding

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 5 Geography:

  • The environmental and human influences on the location and characteristics of a place and the management of spaces within them (ACHASSK113)

Relevant parts of Year 5 Geography achievement standards: Students identify and describe the interconnections between people and the human and environmental characteristics of places, and between components of environments.

Syllabus outcomes: GE3-2, GE3-3

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate student discussion and support with independent investigations.

Resources required:

  • Art supplies – coloured pencils and textas (optional)
  • Device capable of presenting a Powerpoint to the class
  • Individual devices capable of accessing the internet
  • Lined paper or workbook
  • Powerpoint
  • White paper (optional)

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 the elements that influence how fires burn and behave.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … explain the three elements of a fire and the three things in the environment that impact how it behaves.
  • … conduct a risk assessment of their local area to predict where might be most vulnerable to a bushfire event.

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, shall they need to. The tasks can be activating for some students and could trigger old memories that some students may find challenging to revisit or process. You should direct students to a school

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