FireWorks Generic Curriculum
Abrahamson, Ilana; Smith, Jane Kapler; and Berkowitz, Caitlyn. 2018. FireWorks curricula featuring ‘generic’ activities that can be used anywhere that wildland fires burn. Missoula, MT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Missoula Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer).
This version of FireWorks consists of activities that can be used anywhere that wildland fires burn. Activities in the table below that have blue hyperlinks do not reference specific regions or ecology and can be used anywhere (i.e., ‘generic activities’). Activities that have black font (no hyperlinks) reference specific regions and ecology and may require modification to fit your local ecology.
To modify the FireWorks program for specific regions, we recommend using the generic activities and modifying the non-generic activities from the Northern Rocky Mountain and North Cascades curricula (listed in the table below) or similar activities from the Sierra Nevada curricula. Some of the non-generic activities contain only brief references to local ecology (e.g., M05 and M06) and require minimal modification; whereas, other activities are heavily based on local ecology and require substantial modification (e.g., E08-2, E10, M14, H15).
If you are adapting the curricula to fit your region, one of the first steps is to decide which plants, animals, and fungi to include and to create a FireWorks Encyclopedia similar to the version for the Northern Rocky Mountains and North Cascades or the Sierra Nevada. Another important step is to figure out how to teach about fire history. It is best to locate a published study for which you can obtain original data and photograph original specimens (increment cores, fire-scarred cross sections, or other materials).
If you would like advice about adapting individual activities or the entire curricula, or if you would like to obtain original files so you can edit them, please feel free to contact us!
For more information about these curricula and educational standards, please see the Introduction (from the Northern Rocky Mountains and North Cascades). To access individual activities, select the links in the table below.
This table summarizes the content for each activity at each level. Read across the table to find similar activities for students at other levels.
|Unit & Theme||ELEMENTARY||MIDDLE||HIGH|
|Unit I. Introduction to Wildland Fire||E01. Visiting Wildland Fire in the Northern Rocky Mountains and North Cascades||M01. Visiting Wildland Fire in the Northern Rocky Mountains and North Cascades||H01. Introduction to Wildland Fire in the Northern Rocky Mountains and North Cascades|
|Unit II. Physical Science of Wildland Fire||E02. Making Fires Burn or Go Out 1: Introduction to the Fire Triangle||M02. Where Does Heat Go? The Heat Plume from a Fire||H02. The Fire Triangle: Fuel, Heat, and Oxygen|
|E03. Making Fires Burn or Go Out 2: Demonstrating the Fire Triangle and Heat Plume||M03. What Makes Fires Burn? The Fire Triangle 1—Heat and Fuel||H03. The Fire Triangle, Combustion, and the Carbon Cycle|
|M04. What Makes Fires Burn? The Fire Triangle 2—Oxygen||H04. Heat Transfer|
|Unit III. The Wildland Fire Environment||H05. Fuel Properties|
|H07. Fire Spread Processes: Putting it all together: Heat transfer, fuel properties, and pyrolysis|
|E04. How Wildland Fires Spread 1: Experiment with a Matchstick Forest||M05. How Do Wildland Fires Spread? The Matchstick Forest Model||H08A. Fire Environment Triangle and Fire Spread: The Matchstick Model|
|H08B. Fire Environment Triangle and Fire Spread: The Landscape Matchstick Model|
|M06. Ladder Fuels and Fire Spread: The Tinker Tree Derby||H09. Ladder Fuels and Fire Spread|
|E05. Fuel Properties: The Campfire Challenge||M07. Fuel Properties: The Campfire Challenge||See H05.|
|E06. Effect of Wind: How Wildland Fires Spread||M08. Fire Behavior, Fire Weather, and Climate||H10. Fire Behavior, Fire Weather, and Climate|
|Unit IV. Fire Effects on the Environment||E07. Smoke from Wildland Fire: Just Hanging Around?||M09. Smoke from Wildland Fire: Just Hanging Around?||H11. Smoke from Wildland Fire: Just Hanging Around?|
|M10. Fire, Soil, and Water Interactions||H12. Fire, Soil, and Water Interactions|
|Unit V. Fire’s Relationship with Organisms and Communities||E08-1. What’s a Community? All the Living Things in the Ecosystem||M11. Who Lives Here? Adopting a Plant, Animal, or Fungus||H14. Researching a Plant, Animal, or Fungus|
|E08-2. Who Lives Here? Adopting a Plant, Animal, or Fungus|
|E09. Tree Parts and Fire: The Class Models a Living Tree||M12. Tree Parts and Fire: “Working Trees” Jeopardy-style Game|
|E10. Tree Identification: Using a Key to Identify “Mystery Trees”||M13. Tree Identification: Figure out the “Mystery Trees”||H13. Tree Identification: Create a Dichotomous Key|
|E11. Recipe for a Lodgepole Pine Forest: Serotinous Cones||E11. Is appropriate for middle school|
|M14. Who Lives Here and Why? Modeling Forest Communities||H15. Forest Communities and Climate Change|
|M15. Bark and Soil: Nature’s Insulators|
|E12. Buried Treasure: Underground Parts that Help Plants Survive Fire||M16. Buried Treasures: Identifying Plants by their Underground Parts|
|Unit VI. Fire History and Succession||E13-1. My Tree Autobiography: Seeing History through Trees’ Annual Rings|
|M17-H16. Dating Fires Using Dendrochronology||M17-H16. Dating Fires Using Dendrochronology|
|M18-H17. History of Stand-replacing Fire||M18-H17. History of Stand-replacing Fire|
|E13-2. Tree Biography, Forest Biography||M19-H18. History of Low-severity Fire||M19-H18. History of Low-severity Fire|
|M20. Fire History in Ponderosa, Lodgepole, and Whitebark Pine Forest Communities||H19. History of Mixed-severity Fire|
|E14. Story Time: Fire and Succession||M21. Drama in the Forest: Fire and Succession, a Class Production||H20. Why Do Historical Fire Regimes Matter?|
|M22. Fire Ecology Puzzler|
|Unit VII. People in Fire's Homeland||E15. Carrying Fire the Pikunni Way||M23. Carrying Fire the Pikunni Way||H21. Carrying Fire the Pikunni Way|
|E16. Homes in the Forest: An Introduction to Firewise Practices||M24. Homes in the Forest: An Introduction to Firewise Practices|
|E17. Revisiting Wildland Fire||M25. Revisiting Wildland Fire||H22. Northern Rocky Mountain and Northern Cascades Forests Today|