Cool Burning (Primary)

Kirsty Costa - Cool Australia
Award winning educator
Teach Aboriginal Cultures and Histories in Years 3 to 6 by exploring how fire is used to care for Country.
Target Audience
Teachers working with Years 3 to 6 students. Also suitable for casual relief and beginning teachers.
2 reviews

Learning Areas

Teaching Standards

General Description

Want support to better integrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures into Geography and History? You’ve come to the right place.

In this 2 hour course, you will:

  • Explore the savanna of Northern Australia.
  • Learn about how Aboriginal land managers care for Country through ‘cool burning’ regimes.
  • Investigate the environmental, social and economic benefits of cool burning.
  • Access a range of lesson plans (all linked to the Australian Curriculum) and videos so you can teach about cool burning in your classroom.

After completing the course, you will feel more confident with exploring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures with your students PLUS you will have a comprehensive toolkit of teaching resources to choose from.


Teachers working with Years 3 to 6 students. Also suitable for casual relief and beginning teachers.

Available Delivery Formats

Format Description

Most TTA online courses are available with an Online Subscription. For a little more than the price of one course, you can gain up to 20 PD hours per year. Learn more HERE.

A short online course is delivered over 1-3 weeks in duration and is worth 2-3 PD hrs depending on the course content and its objectives. Participants will not need to take time off, the course date is the START date only, end dates will be advertised with course hours.

>> This 2 hour online professional development is open for 2 weeks.
We recommend you allocate some time in your calendar, in advance, to enjoy the activities and get the most out of the course.

>> This course is mapped to Geography in the Australian Curriculum and NSW Syllabus for Years 3 to 6 (Stages 2 and 3). It can also be used as part of an integrated unit or student team activity.

This course contributes to 2.0 professional development hours.


There are no occurrences of Short Online in Australia (ACT) at this time.


1. Introduction

25 minutes

- Read about course requirements.
- Meet your group.
- Find out the difference between Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country.
- Set a personal learning goal.

2. Using Fire

50 minutes

- Explore Fish River Station in the Northern Territory.
- Learn how ‘hot burns’ affect the tropical savanna of Australia.
- Meet John Daly, Indigenous land manager, and find out how he and his team use ‘cool burning’ fire stick techniques.
- Find out how cool burning benefits the natural environment and local communities.
- Watch how Indigenous land managers work with scientists.

3. Support For Your Teaching

30 minutes

- Download Cool Australia’s Cool Burning units of work and lesson plans.
- Explore the Cool Burning Digital Library.
- Identify which resources will help your teaching.
- Consider how to take your students' learning further by connecting with local groups.

4. Reflection

15 minutes

- Reflect on what you learnt during the course.
- Give feedback on the course.


No duration specified

Keep on learning with these further study activities:
- Find out more about the biodiversity of Australia’s tropical savanna.
- Use a Harvard Visible Thinking tool called ‘See, Think, Wonder’ to help your students think and ask questions about cool burning.
- Explore Reconciliation Australia’s ‘Share Our Pride’ website.
- Watch a video by Peninsula Specialist College about Bunjil the Eagle.

User Rating


Latest Reviews

Please note the feedback listed here is unfiltered, and includes all comments and ratings collected.

Cool Burning (Primary)
by Kier Douthie on 29/03/2016

The course was an introduction to Aboriginal land practices that have lapsed since European settlement, showing the value of the intimate knowledge of the Australian bush that Aboriginal people had. The material gives a broad view of the impacts of cool burning versus hot burning as it relates to the globe, people and the economy.

Cool Burning (Primary)
by Steffanie Kriz on 02/02/2016

I thought the course was very well put together and was very informative. I learned a lot of new information and improved my teaching.

About the team

Kirsty Costa - Cool Australia


Kirsty helps teachers grow in their profession. She is the Head of Professional Development at Cool Australia, inspiring hundreds of educators each year. Kirsty shares her 15+ years of teaching and training experience. In her courses, she creates a dynamic space for teachers to be creative and curious. She builds teacher confidence and makes information relevant, helpful and powerful. Kirsty also has a background in communication and talking to people about change.

Cool Australia


Cool Australia is an award winning not-for-profit dedicated to supporting educators with tools to foster ‘learning for life’. We help integrate topics around sustainability, ethics, economics and wellbeing across the curriculum. This enables teachers of all age groups and disciplines to engage young Aussies in real-life learning whilst achieving Australian Curriculum and Early Years Learning Framework outcomes. Our accredited professional development is designed to build your confidence, understanding and expertise. You will learn through a mixture of practical and thinking activities as well as hearing the stories of others. Plus you will access a range of teaching tools that can you can use straight away in your teaching.