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Photo by Jill Pelto

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Jill Pelto Gallery


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Science, Earth and Space Sciences, Visual and Performing Arts

Resource Type

  • Artwork

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West

"Increasing Forest Fire Activity"

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  • This is a watercolor and colored pencil artwork created by scientist and artist Jill Pelto, showing increasing wildfire activity. 
  • This painting is inspired by Pelto's experience near a wildfire in Washington State in 2015.
Teaching Tips


  • Students' engagement with works of art enhances their creativity and communication skills.
  • Analyzing a visual medium is beneficial because it allows students to discuss their interpretations with their peers and to support their views by referring to specific elements.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the following concepts: wildfires, drought, temperature rise, and global warming.


  • The painting could be incorporated into science lessons on wildfires, drought, and temperature rise. It could be used as a hook and students could discuss their observations.
  • During art class, students could interpret this painting and then create their own artwork on climate change from their point of view.
  • An ELA teacher could present this drawing to students and ask them to write a descriptive paragraph describing the different elements.
  • Other images by Jill Pelto on deforestation and arctic melt would pair well with this image for a lesson.
Scientist Notes
The resource relates extreme weather conditions and forest fires. There is no contradiction in the evidence put out by the author. This resource is recommended.
  • Arts
    • Visual Arts: Standard 8 - Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
      • VA.8.RE2.5 1. Interpret art by analyzing the composition, contextual information, subject matter, formal art elements, and use of media to identify ideas and mood conveyed.
      • VA.8.RE2.8 1. Interpret art by analyzing how the interaction of subject matter, formal art elements, composition, use of media, art-making approaches, and relevant contextual information contributes to understanding messages or ideas and mood conveyed.
      • VA.8.RE2.HS1 2. Orally or in writing interpret an artwork or collection of works, supported by relevant and sufficient evidence found in the work and its various contexts.
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