Goats Stop Fires! Lesson Plan

Academic Standards


Reading Objective:

Children will explain how goats help provide a solution to the problem of wildfires.


Social Studies Focus:

problem and solution


ELA Skills:

key details, vocabulary, opinion writing, compare/contrast


Page 4 Skill:

read a bar graph



brush, wildfire, solution, hooves



SL.2.3, RI.2.1, RI.2.3, RI.2.4, RI.2.10, W.2.1


Guided Reading Level:



Lexile level: 


Provide students with some background on fire safety.


Build background knowledge (10 min.)

Watch our video “Be a Fire Safety Expert." After children have finished watching the video, discuss the following question:

  • What is one thing you can do to be fire safe?


Preview vocabulary (3 min.)

Next, play the online vocabulary slideshow. This issue’s featured words are brush, wildfire, solution, and hooves..

Set a purpose for reading (5 min.)

  • Pass out the issue, and discuss the cover. Explain that wildfires are a big problem. Goats are a solution!
  • Next, read the As You Read prompt on page 2: “Think about the problem. How are goats a good solution?” Encourage children to think about this prompt as they read.

Read together (20 min.)

Pass out the Read and Think printable. Use it to check comprehension as you read the issue together, pausing to ask the questions. 

Assessment: Reading Quiz

Pass out the Reading Quiz to review key concepts from the issue and assess students’ proficiency on key nonfiction reading skills.

With the “Dress the Firefighter” game, students learn firefighter gear vocabulary as they dress the firefighter to go to work!

You can use our printable worksheets to focus on important ELA skills. Here's how.

ELA Focus: Vocabulary (15 min.)

  • Use the Word Work printable to deepen students’ understanding of the words brush, wildfire, solution, and hooves..

Editor’s Pick: Opinion Writing (15 min.)

  • The Goats or Firefighters? skill sheet invites children to form an opinion on who is better at clearing dry brush to prevent wildfires. After stating their opinion, they back it up with two reasons and write a closing, using the issue for support.

ELA Focus: Compare and Contrast (15 min.)

  • The Which Does What? skill sheet is a fun cut-and-paste Venn diagram. Students place phrases in the appropriate areas depending on whether they apply to goats, firefighters, or both.

 Here are two past issues you can use to extend your lesson on firefighting:

  • “Here Come the Fire Horses!,” October 2018. Add history to your lesson with this fascinating study of firefighting in the late 1800s.
  • “Fire Tech Tools,” October 2020. This issue zooms ahead to introduce some of the most sophisticated firefighting tools around—including a firefighting robot!

You can find a higher-Lexile-level and a lower-Lexile-level version of the article online here:

  • Higher Lexile level: 530L
  • Lower Lexile level: 460L