Chapter 22: Prairie Fire

Teacher's Guide Chapter Author: Rebecca, 3rd grade teacher, Fong Elementary School, Clark County School District

Chapter Overview: Pa is plowing the field with his new plow when the sky becomes dark. Prarie Fire! He makes a quick trench around the house, but only has time for one. Calling Caroline they begin filling the trench with water and setting small fires on the other side of the line. They are burning away the fuel the fire would need to get to their house. Hundreds of animals come running by the house to escape the fire. The Ingalls save their home! Later the neighbors get together to discuss the fire and there is some talk that the Indians may have started the fire to get rid of the 'white folks'. Charles doesn't agree.

Chapter Themes: prarie fires, Indian relations

Chapter Activities

  • Language Arts
    • Prarie Fire
      • In the book Charles asks Caroline what she would have done if he had still been on his fur trading trip. She told him that she and the girls would have followed the animals to the creek. Have the students go home and ask their parents about the plan to get everyone out of the house safely if there was a fire. Have them write it as if they were writing a manual with step by step directions.
      • Standards Addressed
        • 9.3.5 Give clear three- and four-step directions to complete a simple task.

  • Mathematics
    • How hot can it get?
      • Have them research how hot a forest/prarie fire can get. Then have students convert from fahrenheit to celsius. Next have students make predictions on things they think might be hotter than a fire (volcano, sun, etc.). Using these different findings have the students write their own word comparison problems (ie If a fire is 580 degrees F and a volcano is 1220 degrees F, how much hotter is the volcano than the fire? - all numbers are fictious :) )
      • Standards Addressed
        • 2.3.1 Use numbers, patterns and their extensions to solve problems
        • 3.3.3 Use measuring devices to measure...temperature communicating the concepts of more, less, and equivalent.

  • Social Studies
    • Make a time line of the history of famous wild fires
      • Students will do research on the history of famous wild fires. Using this research they will then make a time line using, not only with words, but with pictures as well. They will also identify the location of the fires on a world map.
      • Standards Addressed
        • 1.3.3 Use maps, globes, photographs, and graphs to collect geographic information
        • 3.3.2 Identify different natural disasters
  • Science
    • How fires can help our forests
      • Students will do a KWL chart about forest fires. Working in a team of three to four students they will fill our the K and W with each team member contributing two bullets for each category. Using books fromt he library they will do some research and then fill out the L section of their chart. After they are done we will post the completed KWL charts around the room and discuss what we learned and put it on a classroom 'L' chart.
      • Standards Addressed
        • N.5.A.4 Students know graphic representations of recorded data can be used to make predictions.
        • 5.3.1 Locate and use at least three sources to write an information paper

Historical Overview of Chapter Themes

The Native American tribes that resided in Kansas were the Arapaho, Comanche, Kansa (whom Kansas is named after - meaning 'south wind people'), Kiowa, Osage and Pawnee. Although white settlers feared the Indians, most were very peaceful and willing to trade and barter with the settlers. Although the Arapaho, probably one of the better known of the tribes, started in Kansas, they ended up in Wyoming because of the push from settlers and ultimately the push from the government.

Additional Resources

1 comment:

Christy G. Keeler, Ph.D. said...

You are truly gifted in planning science-based lessons. I love how you've merged social studies and science to create wonderful cross-curricular lessons. More, please! :-)

Fantastic idea to encourage a home safety plan and have students reinforce their learning by writing about it. This would fit in great with a safety lesson in science. You might even have a firefighter come in to discuss fire safety.