You are going to read a story about a natural phenomenon* in Australia.
When you finish reading, answer these questions.

1. How are people in cities affected by bushfires?
2. What example does the writer use to explain how a fire can be started by human carelessness?
3. How do fires help plants?
4. The fire was very close to the writer's house. Why couldn't she smell smoke?

phenomena is plural
phenomenon is singular
Droughts, floods and typhoons are natural phenomena.
An earthquake is a natural phenomenon.

Every summer in Australia we experience bushfires. 'Bush' means forest. So the fires are mostly in the forest. However, our cities are expanding. Now some suburbs are on the edges of the bush. Sometimes the fires reach the outer suburbs and houses are destroyed.

Sometimes the fires start because people are careless. Maybe someone is driving and they throw their cigarette out of the car window. It lands near some leaves and a small fire starts. The fire grows and soon it turns into a major bushfire.

Bushfires are natural in Australia. We have had them for many thousands of years. They can be caused by strong sunlight on leaves. Many of our plants have adapted to bushfires. A mature plant drops seeds and the seeds lie on the ground for years. They don't open. They don't grow. They need a fire. After a fire the seeds open and new plants grow.

I came close to a fire a few months ago. My house backs on to the bush. I heard strange noises so I walked out my back door and saw a huge wall of fire just 50 steps from my house. Fire fighters with fire trucks were fighting it. It was both amazing and frightening. We were very lucky because the wind was blowing away from us. We could see the fire, but we couldn't smell it. The wind carried everything in the other direction. If the wind had turned, the fire would have raced up the garden and destroyed my house and the houses of my neighbours.

I am very grateful to the firemen and the volunteers who risk their lives every Summer to protect us.

1. Look at the words used to begin the sentences in the first paragraph.
Every, So, However, Now, Sometimes & So far

2. Now think about natural phenomena in your country.
What kinds of natural phenomena do you have in your country? Do you have earthquakes or floods? Do you have typhoons or droughts?



There are two parts to this task.

PART ONE - Write three sentences.
Use any three of these words in sentences - Every, However, So, Now, Sometimes, So far.

PART TWO - Write about a natural phenomenon in your country.
1. Start with some general information about the phenomenon..
2. Then give some details or information about a recent example.
3. Write a little about your feelings or experience.
4. Conclusion - make a general statement about the phenomenon.

Use the bushfire story for examples and ideas.

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