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Fire: Warmth and Light

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Basics on the topic Fire: Warmth and Light

How is fire used for warmth and light? Learn all about the history and use of fire in this video!

Transcript Fire: Warmth and Light

Uma has made herself comfortable in front of her fireplace today. How cozy and warm does this look! Have you ever wondered how people used fire in the past? Now, let's take a look together at fire: warmth and light, and do a little time travel back to the stone age. I wonder what these people from the Stone Age are looking at? Oh, it's on fire! If fire broke out at that time, for example, after a lightning strike, the Stone Age people saw it as a great danger. They fled and were afraid. At some point they understood that fire could be dangerous, but also useful. They took the fire embers to build their own fire pit with twigs. When they tasted the burnt meat of dead animals after a fire, they realized it was much easier for them to digest than raw meat. Now they could also prepare food with fire. Later, they figured out how they could light fires themselves, with flints. Have you ever sat around a campfire socializing with your friends? Then you can certainly understand that the fire pit was a popular meeting place even back then. With fire, people could even protect themselves from predators. Because animals do not dare to go near fire. In the dark, the fire also gave people light and warmth in freezing temperatures. Let's keep traveling to the Middle Ages. How was fire used then? In some places at that time, people lived in wooden houses. To keep warm, they had open fireplaces inside. There they cooked. And in winter they could warm themselves at the fireplaces. Wooden houses can easily catch fire, and because the houses were usually close to each other, fire spread quickly from one house to the next. Sometimes it would burn down a whole village. From then on, night watchmen walked the streets and gave the alarm when there was a fire somewhere. Because at that time there was no fire department that could extinguish the fire with a water hose. Instead, people collected water in wooden buckets, formed human chains, and then passed the buckets up to the burning house to extinguish the fire. How do we use fire today? Even today we use fire for warmth and comfort. We light candles or fireplaces. We heat by burning gas. We bake bread or pizza, and grill. Can you think of more? Feel free to write it in the comments! You see, even today fire gives us light and warmth, it is used for the preparation of food, and creates social gatherings. Unlike the people back then, however, today we no longer have to protect ourselves from wild animals with fire. Speaking of animals! I wonder if Uma is still sitting comfortably in front of her fireplace? Shhh, she fell asleep! We don't want to wake her up!

Fire: Warmth and Light exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learned? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Fire: Warmth and Light.
  • When did humans first use fire?

    Hints

    First, eliminate or cross out all answers you know are NOT correct.

    What's left?

    Humans have used fire for a very long time.

    Which answer is farthest back in time?

    Solution

    Humans first discovered and used fire in the Stone Age.

    At first, people were afraid of fire. But soon they learned that fire is useful.

  • Fire: Past vs. Present

    Hints

    The photos in the top row show how humans used and managed fire in the past.

    The photos in the bottom row show how we use and manage fire today.

    Think about the different ways fire can be used. For example, we use fire for light.

    Which two photos represent light?

    Fire can be dangerous.

    Can you match the two photos that show

    1. how we control dangerous fires today and
    2. how humans managed dangerous fires in the past?

    Solution

    Fire is used for light. In the past, humans lit their homes with candles. Today, we use the fire in electricity for lightbulbs and lamps.

    Fire is used for cooking. In the middle ages, people had small fires in their homes. Today, we use grills and stoves to cook our food.

    Fire is dangerous. Today, fires are put out by firemen. In the past, people worked together to put out the fire with buckets of water.

    Fire is also used for heat. In the stone age, people sheltered around campfires to stay warm. Today, we light our fireplaces and gas heaters for warmth.

  • Do you know the ways people use fire?

    Hints

    This picture shows a Social Gathering.

    It's when a group of people meet. They talk, dance, or spend time together.

    This is an example of Food Preparation.

    Food preparation is another word for cooking.

    A tiger is a predator. A predator hunts other creatures for food.

    Protection from Predators means safety from dangerous animals like tigers.

    Solution

    The images of social gatherings are the people dancing and the people standing.

    The food preparation images are the BBQ and the meat stick.

    The images of light and warmth are the candle and the fireplace.

    The images of protection from predators are the bear and the eyes in the bushes.

  • The history of fire.

    Hints

    At first, the people of the stone age were afraid of fire.

    Can you find the photo that shows fear? Move it to the top.

    Do you know what happened first?

    Click the arrow on the 1st photo and drag it to the top position.

    Place the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th photos under the first.

    Before people used fire for warmth, light, food, and protection, they had to make their own fire.

    They used twigs and a fire pit to do this.

    Solution

    1. At first, the cavemen were afraid of fire and ran away.

    2. Once they were no longer afraid, they became curious about how they could use fire for themselves.

    3. Next, they started their own campfires with sticks and logs.

    4. Finally, they used fire for warmth, light, protection, and social gatherings.

  • How is fire used?

    Hints

    A predator is an animal that hunts other creatures - or humans - for food.

    What's that in the bushes?

    Look closely at what the people are holding in the picture.

    People use fire for social gatherings. Which word in the bank has the same meaning as social gathering?

    Solution

    From top left to bottom right:

    • Warmth
    • Cooking
    • Meeting place
    • Protection from predators
    • Light
  • Let's review!

    Hints

    This is a photo of the Middle Ages. Look carefully at how they are using fire to help you fill in the blanks!

    There were no firemen in the Middle Ages. Instead, people kept watch at night and called out if they saw a fire.

    What were these people called? Look at all the words in the word bank below.

    Solution

    1. Stone Age

    2. Protection from predators

    3. Middle Ages

    4. Watchmen

    5. Light

    6. Prepare food

    7. Heat