Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Fire Ecology

Patrick O Bryan


Students examine the role fire plays in mantaining the physical factors of the scrub ecosystem.


The student knows that the world ecosystems are shaped by physical factors that limit their productivity.


- Pictures, slides, or overhead transparencies showing plants and animals of a scrub ecosystem.
- Videos or films on ecosystems (if needed for introduction)
- Textbooks with discussions on ecosystems. (if needed for introduction)
- Computer with Internet access.


1. Print copies of the attached file.
2. Have computers available.
3. Have web sites bookmarked.


1. This lesson requires a previous knowledge of abiotic and biotic factors of an ecosystem. If the students do not
have the required knowledge, the teacher should lead them
through a lesson of ecosystems before proceeding with
this activity.

2. Take a quick survey of the students' knowledge of forest

3. Show and discuss pictures of forest fires from old newspaper clippings or videos.

At this time, share the rubric found in the Associated Files with the students. Make sure they understand how the assignment will be assessed.

4. Have students research the physical aspects of the scrub ecosystem at the Merritt Island wildlife refuge from
their website. (See Weblinks)

5. Using the Internet students research the effect that
fire has on maintaining the environmental requirements
for each of the species given them.


Teacher will assess student knowledge of the world ecosystems using the attached rubric.


This lesson could be expanded by going to the Web World Wonders site - videocam at NASA and use the video to try to identify areas that show the evidence of fire and have the students list the reasons why they think this area was burned in the past.

Web Links

Web supplement for Fire Ecology
Fire Ecology

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