Cross Timbers Fire Ecology - Oak Fire Science

The curricula resources below focus on the fire ecology of the Cross Timbers ecoregion, the largest contiguous tract of old-growth forest remaining in the lower 48 states in the USA! While some of the lessons in this curriculum are more specific to this ecoregion, others are appropriate for many other regions.

The goal of these curricula is to provide high school students with unique learning opportunities that align with nationally recognized standards or expectations. Using the Next Generation Science Standards [NGSS] as a guide, these resources allow instructors to meet educational goals as students investigate natural phenomena.  The framework employed for lesson development is the three dimensions of science learning that are integrated into NGSS. Each lesson reflects components of these three dimensions: 1) Science and Engineering Practices; 2) Disciplinary Core Ideas; and 3) Crosscutting Concepts.


Each lesson includes:

  • lesson plan
  • slideshow presentation (with script)
  • step-by-step instructions
  • student quiz (and key)

Educators can download and customize all resources to their specific classroom and regional needs!




Lesson 1: Introduction to fire ecology of the Cross Timbers ecoregion

Lesson 2: The heat plume of a fire

Lesson 3: The fire triangle (part 1)

Lesson 4: The fire triangle (part 2)

Lesson 7: Bark & soil – Insulative property model

Lesson 8: Smoke in the Cross Timbers

Lesson 9: Fire and biodiversity

Lesson 10: Introduction to dendrochronology / fire history research

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