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Health and Physical Education

Year level:

Level 5, Level 6

Suggested timing:

30 minutes up to one lesson.

Required resources:

Sticks, leaves, stones, access to natural outdoor area

Green branches and flame

Activity 3 – Campfire construction

This activity is a part of the Fire in ceremony resource.

Green branches and flame. Adelaide, Kaurna country. Photographer: Elena Pochesneva. Source: Getty Images. Used under license.

In this activity teachers guide students in gathering materials from an outdoor area and building a campfire setup, emphasizing the importance of considering oxygen, heat, and fuel.

Step by Step guide 

Step 1: Survey the land

Take students on a walk to an outdoor/natural area where they can gather sticks, leaves, stones and other kindling material (not a national park). Students can work individually or in groups. 

Step 2: Begin building the fire area

Each group can choose a cleared spot in which to build their ‘fire’. Using the stones to create a border and piling up sticks and kindling material, students will construct a fire (without lighting it). This could be a traditional campfire set-up, or a novel design. Students should consider the need for oxygen, heat and fuel in their campfire. 

Step 3: Have a discussion

Inquiry-based questions for discussion: 

  • How did you think about oxygen, heat and fuel in building your campfire? Do you think it would burn well? 

  • What did you notice while gathering kindling? For example, animals, plants. 

  • What activities would you use a fire for in your own lives? What could you cook on a fire? 

  • Would having fire skills encourage you to spend time outdoors, such as camping, and help you enjoy nature? 

Related activities within this resources:

Green branches and flame

Conceptual-based questions

Engage with a variety of conceptual-based questions which explore fire in Indigenous culture.

Green branches and flame

Activity 1 – Smoking ceremony

Students and teachers will watch a video about smoking ceremonies, then engage in a discussion exploring their significance, cultural connections, and differences with Western beliefs.

Suggested timing:

30 mins

Required resources:

Device, internet connection

Green branches and flame

Activity 2 – Fire starting techniques

This activity involves teachers and students watching a video demonstrating fire starting methods and discussing techniques, teamwork, and the importance of community in the process.

Suggested timing:

20 minutes

Required resources:

Device, internet connection

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