Fire is generally portrayed as frightening and destructive by the media. Humans have increasingly been able to manage fire by improved detection ability and improved fire control methods. In the right context, fire is useful. We discovered, long ago, that cooking food in a fire improved its taste and flavour and that fire helped keep us warm and safe from danger.

Our Fire resources can assist teachers to get across a number of important science ideas about fire to their students.

The learning outcomes of this teacher resource are that students will:

  • appreciate surface area as one of many factors affecting fire behaviour
  • have an understanding of some of the factors that influence fire behaviour
  • be able to identify and define fire risks both indoors and outdoors
  • use their knowledge of fire and our fire resources to develop their ability to think critically and ethically when discussing and debating various viewpoints.

Students will meet these learning outcomes by:

  • using drama to model science ideas about atoms, molecules, heat transfer and combustion
  • taking a close look at a candle flame in order to investigate its properties, the process of burning and the behaviour of flames in various situations
  • identifying indoor and outdoor fire risks
  • discussing their school’s fire safety plan and then creating one for their home.
  • reading information about fire risk in Antarctica and discussing the reasons why fire is such a hazard on this continent
  • becoming aware of critical and ethical thinking processes by discussing a question related to fire.
    Published 9 November 2010