Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

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This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Wildfires, and supports the standard of developing a model to describe ways the geosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere interact. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Ask students:

  • What have you heard or read about a real life wildfire in the news? 
  • What do you think causes wildfires? What are their effects?


  • Read the description on the Wildfires topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Assign Related Reading. Have students read one of the four articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Assign the Wildfires Challenge and Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about wildfires while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a movie that answers this question: How can a wildfire benefit an ecosystem?
  • Make-a-Map: Create a concept map identifying and explaining the chain reaction that causes wildfires to spread.
  • Creative Coding: Code a newscast announcing the cause of a wildfire.
  • Primary Source Activity: Examine forest images and cite details to answer accompanying questions.

More to Explore 

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of wildfires and related Earth systems with these topics: Natural Disasters, Climate Change, and Droughts.

Teacher Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Lesson Plan Next Generation Science Standards Alignments