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Database Provider


The Climate Initiative


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Geography

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Ebooks
  • Videos, 5 minutes, 13 seconds, CC

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - West, USA - Northeast, Maine, California


YouTube Video

Wildfires Learning Lab

Ask a Question

  • In this resource, students will find an interactive collection of information and other media to help them learn about the basic science, causes, and effects of wildfires and look at case studies of wildfires from California.
  • There are three interactive parts to this resource including an interactive "classroom" with basic information about wildfires, an interactive module students can use to learn what they should do in the event of a wildfire, and an interactive map of wildfires in California.
  • A comprehensive teacher guide, including six lessons that go along with this learning lab, can be utilized to create an entire wildfire unit for your classroom.
Teaching Tips


  • Each presentation allows students to view wildfires from a different perspective.
  • The interactive media makes learning almost like a game.

Additional Prerequisites

  • In the third presentation, on the wildfire map, the markers near San Fransisco and San Jose are broken links.
  • Students should understand that climate change is causing many areas to become hotter and drier.


  • After completing the second interactive presentation, students can create a plan for what they might do if there is a wildfire in their area.
  • Each student can conduct a small research project or report on one of the wildfires from the map, sharing with the class once complete.
  • Students using the virtual classroom can explore it like a scavenger hunt, with questions to answer at every stop.
Scientist Notes
With the help of this resource, students can investigate what wildfires are, where they might happen, and what circumstances might set them off. Furthermore, students would get knowledge on how to create preventative plans to lessen the effects of wildfires when they do occur. It is advised to use this well-researched material when teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • MS-ESS2-5 Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses results in changes in weather conditions.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-1 Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.3.6-8 Use paper-based and electronic mapping and graphing techniques to represent and analyze spatial patterns of different environmental and cultural characteristics.
      • D2.Geo.12.9-12 Evaluate the consequences of human-made and natural catastrophes on global trade, politics, and human migration.
      • D2.Geo.6.9-12 Evaluate the impact of human settlement activities on the environmental and cultural characteristics of specific places and regions.
      • D2.Geo.9.9-12 Evaluate the influence of long-term climate variability on human migration and settlement patterns, resource use, and land uses at local-to-global scales.
  • National Health Education Standards
    • Standard 1: Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.
      • 1.8.3 Analyze how the environment affects personal health.
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