Activity Introduction

This lesson is designed to be completed independently by students.

Students will read ‘The Conversation’ article about bushfires and ecosystems, then watch a short video. It is essential for students to watch the first seven minutes of the video to be able to answer the questions on the video. However, the remaining three minutes are also useful in understanding ecosystems; you can choose to assign the whole video or part of the video. Students will then refer back to ‘The Conversation’ article and answer questions, reflecting on the connections between the clip and the article and how both help them to understand ecosystems.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Year 9 Science

  • Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (ACSSU176)

General capabilities: Literacy, Ethical Understanding, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Background information

From natural disasters to volatile leaders to environmental degradation to social and economic woes, our world can feel like a complicated and daunting place, especially for young people. News headlines can capture the worst of these events, leaving the impression that we live in a daunting and even frightening place. This can lead young people to a feeling of powerlessness about their lives, both now and in the future. However, reading and analysing news articles tells us what the real story behind the headlines and helps us to move beyond our uncertainty and fear to a place where we may be compelled to take positive action, instead of feeling powerless.

Tips for Parents and Carers

For many people in Australia – including and especially young people – the bushfires were and continue to be a source of considerable anxiety and stress. This is particularly true for those who were immediately impacted by the fires.

If you need further support for students please refer to:

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 are fun and challenging real world activities for all ages, the second are self-directed lessons for upper primary and secondary students. These lessons support independent learning in a remote or school settings.

This lesson has been developed in partnership with The Conversation. The Conversation’s mission is to be known as a prominent and trusted publisher of new thinking and evidence-based research, editorially independent and free of commercial or political bias. The Conversation hopes teachers will use their content as a source of truthful information, and that teachers can show their students the importance of trusted, evidence-based information in understanding the world around them and making informed decisions about their actions. Please follow the republishing guidelines when using The Conversation’s articles.

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


Student Worksheet

Bushfires and Ecosystems - Activity Instructions

Learning intentions:

  • You will understand the basic principles of ecosystem ecology, including tropic levels and interactions between biotic and abiotic elements
  • You will recognise the impact of bushfires on ecosystems and how ecosystems may recovers following a bushfire event
  • You will build their thinking and questioning skills.

Success criteria:

  • You can work independently to complete tasks
  • You can read and analyse an article
  • You can watch and analyse a clip
  • You can make connections between texts.

Part A: Read The Conversation Article Below

These plants and animals are now flourishing as life creeps back after bushfires

Kathryn Teare Ada Lambert, University of New England

As the east coast bushfire crisis finally abates, it’s easy to see nothing but loss: more than 11 million hectares of charcoal and ash, and more than a billion dead animals.

But it is heartening to remember that bushfire can be a boon to som

- or - to view worksheets

Leave your Feedback

We appreciate your feedback. Let us know what you like or don't like about this activity:

Sorry. You must be logged in to view this form.