FireWorks for the Northern Rocky Mountains and Northern Cascades - M15: Bark and Soil: Nature's Insulators
Course Type: FireWorks activities
Availability: Public access
Author(s): FireWorks Educational Program
  • Ilana L. Abrahamson
    US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire, Fuel, and Smoke Science Program
Date Created: October 13, 2017

Cataloging Information

  • bark
  • soil
Partner Site(s):
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: February 17, 2020
FRAMES Record Number: 25041


Lesson Overview: This activity explores the use of insulation to slow the transfer of heat through materials. Bark (on stems of trees and shrubs) and soil are two kinds of materials that insulate living things from the heat of fires.

Lesson Goal: Increase students’ understanding of heat transfer and the usefulness of insulation to slow the process of heat transfer.


  • Students can describe how insulation affects the flow of heat through a substance.
  • Students can explain how tree bark and soil can protect living tissues from the heat of fires.
Online Link(s):
Handout M15-1 (100 KB; pdf)
M15: Empty Graph (48 KB; ppt)