How are the fire safety features of a typical school building a reflection of lessons learned from fires in our history?
For much of American history, the threat of fire was very real and caused great devastation to entire cities, commercial buildings, and even schools full of children. By exploring our fiery past, students will come to better appreciate the fire safety features in their own school--which are rooted in this horrible history--that are so often taken for granted.
Throughout this unit, students will:
1) Acquire background knowledge about fire safety features and processes that are common in modern schools today.
2) Examine the causes and contributing factors of the worst fires in colonial and early American history.
3) Discover the true reasons for the Great Chicago Fire and create a political cartoon demonstrating these realities.
4) Investigate the workplace of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory that led to perhaps the most infamous fire incident in American history.
5) Explore the mostly unknown 1908 Collinwood School Fire that killed 175 students and teachers.
6) Analyze the 1958 Our Lady of the Angels School Fire that led to many modern regulations for schools.
7) Conclude with a unit project, creating a user-friendly, free website that demonstrates how their own school is a reflection of lessons learned from these fires in our past.