In this lesson, students will explore fire progression maps for various wildfires in California's history, the Sand Fire's burn scar, and the difficulties firefighters faced during the King Fire.
Students will complete a worksheet that develops their critical thinking skills and interactive media that allows them to consider a "bird's-eye" view of an area.
Teaching Tips
Positives
The worksheet is well-organized and easy to follow, and its difficulty increases so that teachers of elementary or middle grades can easily remove questions that aren't appropriate for their grade level.
This lesson includes many NASA videos that teachers can use for extension purposes.
Additional Prerequisites
For high school students, Google Earth is necessary for this lesson.
It may be helpful if students know the term burn scar.
The fourth paragraph in the background section introduces many otherwise unfamiliar terms and may benefit students to read before starting the lesson.
Some links embedded in the background text and under the extension section don't work but aren't necessary for understanding the subject matter.
Differentiation
Older students can use the worksheet for a research project on the devastating nature of wildfires and how proper forest management can mitigate this destruction.
Teachers can use this lesson as a conceptual introduction to natural hazards exacerbated by climate change.
This lesson can support a classroom discussion on the social, economic, and health impacts of wildfires.
Only high school students should be required to complete the entire worksheet.
Scientist Notes
This resource is from the CLEAN collection. “The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness.”
Standards
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS2: Earth's Systems
4-ESS2-2 Analyze and interpret data from maps to describe patterns of Earth’s features.
HS-ESS2-2 Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth’s surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
HS-ESS3-6 Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
Common Core Math Standards (CCSS.MATH)
Algebra: Creating Equations (9-12)
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSA.CED.A.4 Rearrange formulas to highlight a quantity of interest, using the same reasoning as in solving equations. For example, rearrange Ohm's law V = IR to highlight resistance R.
Expressions & Equations (6-8)
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.8.EE.B.5 Graph proportional relationships, interpreting the unit rate as the slope of the graph. Compare two different proportional relationships represented in different ways. For example, compare a distance-time graph to a distance-time equation to determine which of two moving objects has greater speed.
Geometry (K-8)
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.G.A.2 Partition shapes into parts with equal areas. Express the area of each part as a unit fraction of the whole. For example, partition a shape into 4 parts with equal area, and describe the area of each part as 1/4 of the area of the shape.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.G.A.1 Find the area of right triangles, other triangles, special quadrilaterals, and polygons by composing into rectangles or decomposing into triangles and other shapes; apply these techniques in the context of solving real-world and mathematical problems.
Measurement & Data (K-5)
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.MD.C.5 Recognize area as an attribute of plane figures and understand concepts of area measurement.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.MD.C.6 Measure areas by counting unit squares (square cm, square m, square in, square ft, and improvised units).
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.MD.C.7 Relate area to the operations of multiplication and addition.
Number & Operations—Fractions (3-5)
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.NF.B.4 Apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication to multiply a fraction or whole number by a fraction.
Number & Quantity: Quantities (9-12)
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSN.Q.A.1 Use units as a way to understand problems and to guide the solution of multi-step problems; choose and interpret units consistently in formulas; choose and interpret the scale and the origin in graphs and data displays.
Ratios & Proportional Relationships (6-7)
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.6.RP.A.3 Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g., by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line diagrams, or equations.