Stage 3 (Years 5 & 6): Topic 1: Factors that shape places

Unit 3: Bushfire hazards in Australia

>> Unit 3 lessons

Content focus:

Students explore the impact bushfires have on Australian people, places and environments and propose ways people can reduce the impact of bushfires in the future.

Geographical concepts:

  • Place: the significance of places and what they are like. For example: places students live in and belong to and why they are important.
  • Space: the significance of location and spatial distribution, and ways people organise and manage the spaces that we live in. For example: location of a place in relation to other familiar places.
  • Environment: the significance of the environment in human life, and the important interrelationships between humans and the environment. For example, how and why places should be looked after.
  • Interconnection: no object of geographical study can be viewed in isolation. For example: local and global links people have with places and the special connection Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples maintain with Country/Place.
  • Scale: the way that geographical phenomena and problems can be examined at different spatial levels. For example: various scales by which places can be defined such as local suburbs, towns and large cities.
  • Sustainability: the capacity of the environment to continue to support our lives and the lives of other living creatures into the future. For example: ways in which people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, use and protect natural resources; differing views about environmental sustainability; sustainable management of waste.
  • Change: explaining geographical phenomena by investigating how they have developed over time. For example: changes to environmental and human characteristics of places.

Syllabus content area:
Bushfire hazard

Students investigate the impact of one contemporary bushfire hazard in Australia

Key inquiry questions:

  1. How do people and environments influence one another?
  2. How do people influence places and the management of spaces within them?
  3. How can the impact of bushfires on people and places be reduced?

A student:

  • describes how bushfires impact on the characteristics of places and environments
  • explains how bushfires shape the nature of the interactions and connections between people, places and environments
  • compares and contrasts approaches to bushfire management
  • acquires, processes and communicates geographical information using geographical tools for inquiry

Inquiry skills:
Acquiring geographical information

  • collect and record relevant geographical data and information, from secondary information sources

Processing geographical information

  • evaluate sources for their usefulness
  • represent data in different forms
  • interpret geographical data and information to draw conclusions

Communicating geographically

  • present findings and ideas in a written form (a report)
  • reflect on their learning to propose individual and collective action in response to a contemporary geographical challenge (a bushfire)

Geographical tools:

  • thematic maps
  • maps showing spatial distributions and patterns

Graphs and statistics

  • pictographs, data tables, column graphs, line graphs, climate graphs
  • multiple graphs on a geographical theme

Visual representations

  • illustrations, annotated diagrams, multimedia


>> Download Bushfire Unit cover sheet

Lessons and worksheets:

Lesson 1: Lesson Plan :: Worksheet – Natural hazards and disasters
Lesson 2: Lesson Plan :: Worksheet – The conditions under which bushfires occur
Lesson 3: Lesson Plan :: Worksheet (3a) – Bushfire attack :: Worksheet (3b) – Fire Danger Ratings
Lesson 4: Lesson Plan :: Worksheet – Aboriginal use of fire
Lesson 5: Lesson Plan :: Worksheet – Fabish, the Horse that Braved a Bushfire
Lesson 6: Lesson Plan :: Worksheet – Fire
Lesson 7: Lesson Plan :: Worksheet – Bushfire survival