www.frames.gov/fireworks/curriculum/sierra-nevada

FireWorks Sierra Nevada Curriculum

This version of FireWorks focuses on selected ecological communities in the Sierra Nevada — forests dominated by conifers. These communities are often called lower and upper mixed conifer or lower and upper montane communities. To learn about some of the plants, animals, and fungi that live in these communities, see the essays in the FireWorks Encyclopedias (for elementary and elementary/middle grades).

Like all FireWorks programs, the Sierra Nevada curricula provide students with interactive, hands-on activities to study wildland fire. It consists of three curricula and trunks of materials for educators. The three curricula are targeted at the elementary, middle, and high school levels (and are great for adult learning too).

For more information about these curricula, the ecological communities, and educational standards, please see the Introduction. To access entire curricula or 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.

  ELEMENTARY MIDDLE HIGH
  Entire Elementary Curriculum Entire Middle Curriculum Entire High Curriculum
Unit I. Introduction to Wildland Fire E01. Visiting Wildland Fire in the Sierra Nevada M01. Visiting Wildland Fire in the Sierra Nevada H01. Introduction to Wildland Fire in the Sierra Nevada
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
    H06. Pyrolysis
    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. Who Lives Here? Adopting a Plant, Animal, or Fungus M11. Who Lives Here? Adopting a Plant, Animal, or Fungus H14. Researching 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 Baker Cypress Grove: Serotinous Cones    
  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’ Growth Rings    
E13-2. Story of a Fire-Scarred Tree M17. Fire History 1: Long Stories Told By Old Trees H16. Fire History 1: Long Stories Told by Old Trees
  M18. Fire History 2: History of Stand Replacing Fire H17. Fire History 2: History of Stand Replacing Fire
E14. Story Time: Fire and Succession M19. Drama in the Forest: Fire and Succession, a Class Production H18. Fire History 3: Fire Regime across a Sierra Nevada Landscape
Unit VII. People in Fire's Homeland E15. Homes in the Forest: An Introduction to Firewise Practices M20. Homes in the Forest: An Introduction to Firewise Practices  
E16. Revisiting Wildland Fire M21. Revisiting Wildland Fire H19. Sierra Nevada Forests Today

The Sierra Nevada FireWorks program was created in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory; Plumas National Forest; and the Plumas Unified School District.

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