Thursday, September 28, 2017

More on Fire

Last week I wrote about finding a teachable moment in this year's awful forest fires.  Some readers responded with suggestions: 

Dalene Normand, of Frenchtown, suggested these fire resources: 

  • The Forest Service Fire Lab in Missoula has a Fire Works trunk that educators can use to teach about forest fires    
  • Also, there is an IEFA lesson plan: Fire on the Land for middle school age that deals with Native use of fire for land management.  

Suzanne Thomason recommended Boy Wonder and the Big Burns by Chris Petersen.  He is a photographer and relates his experience with his autistic son and the Glacier fires of 2001.  Lots of pictures, a quick read, mostly about the fires with just enough information about autism spectrum disorders tucked in.  Excellent potential for teacher meetings.

Brenda Johnston, who teaches high school English in Browning, described the project her students are doing: "My students have been working on this very thing.  They read an article from the New York Times, which included vocabulary work and literacy skills, ending by writing a summary.  JoAnne Grandstaff then came in and talked with all of the students about fire.  She is a Kickapoo tribal member, and they are the keepers of fire, so she talked about how we show respect for fire.  The kids then read about the Great Hinckley Fire of 1894, again practicing comprehension skills. Today I am reading "The Fire Keeper" from Joseph Bruchac's Keepers of the Earth.  We will wrap it up next week with a writing assignment.

Finally, Karen Reinhart, from the Yellowstone Gateway Museum in Livingston invited teachers to bring their students to see their fire exhibit: "On Fire: Structural and Wildland Fire." "The exhibit includes stories of early day firefighting and firefighters, and also the 1988 fires in Yellowstone and the more recent, 2012 Pine Creek Fire. Safety tips, too." For those far from Livingston, she suggested that there may be other museums with resources worth tapping into, "like the smokejumper museum/visitor center in Missoula."

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