A Fire Inside - How did climate change contribute to the Australian bushfires?

A Fire Inside - How did climate change contribute to the Australian bushfires?

Lesson 7 of 8 in this unit

  • Secondary
  • Year 7 - 8
  • Science
  • Environmental
  • Climate Change
  • Disaster resilience
  • ...

Lesson summary

In this Science lesson, students revise their understanding of bushfires and the varying causes. The class builds upon this knowledge and refers to research and clips from ‘A Fire Inside’, to make connections between climate change, the rising intensity and frequency of bushfires in Australia. To show their understanding of how climate change exacerbates bushfires, students create presentations to communicate key information for young people in their communities.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • revise the causes of bushfires
  • understand how climate change exacerbates bushfires
  • communicate this information effectively to others.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • explain the four key ingredients of a bushfire
  • explain how climate change and bushfires are related
  • use the information they have learned to create clear and informative presentations.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian curriculum content descriptions:

Years 8 Science:

  • Scientific knowledge has changed peoples’ understanding of the world and is refined as new evidence becomes available (ACSHE134)
  • Communicate ideas, findings and evidence-based solutions to problems using scientific language, and representations, using digital technologies as appropriate (ACSIS148)

Syllabus outcomes: SC49-WS, SC415-LW

General capabilities: Critical and Creative ThinkingEthical UnderstandingInformation and Communication Technology (ICT) CapabilityLiteracyPersonal and Social Capability

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Relevant parts of Year 8 Science achievement standards: Students use appropriate language and representations to communicate science ideas, methods and findings in a range of text types

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work: A Fire Inside: Feature Documentary Years 7 to 10

Time required: 120 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – facilitate class discussion and prompt students to make connections between A Fire Inside and how bushfires are caused

Resources required


This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • Community engagement
  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • Global citizenship
  • Problem solving      

Additional info

Before teaching the lessons, ensure you have watched the feature documentary ‘A Fire Inside’, rated MA15+ and have gained approval from parents and guardians before viewing the documentary. 

To view the film you can rent or purchase an online copy from Google Play, Apple TV, Prime Video, or Ritz at home.
Students may develop heightened emotions and discomfort during the film whilst learning about the psychological effects and impact the fires had on animals, people, families, communities, and the country. It is recommended that you direct students to a school counsellor if they require additional support and read through the Handling Sensitive Topics and Issues: Handling Sensitive Topics and Issues.

About the feature documentary - A Fire Inside:
When a volunteer firefighter drives his car to almost certain death, he does it during the worst fires in Australian history because he ‘has a job to do’. Three months later, the fires are out, but his fight is just beginning.

Turning a sensitive lens on the unprecedented devastation of Australia’s 2019/2020 ‘Black Summer’ bushfires; from a country-wide emergency to the astonishing stories of help that emerged, A Fire Inside presents an inspirational look at how people respond to crisis and the impact it has on the human spirit.

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