Madagascar (2005)


Concept featured in film:Energy; Fire

Location of clip:


Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: Alex is desperate to get off of the island and back to New York. He thinks Marty is crazy for wanting to stay on the island. Marty is impressively building a shelter while Alex is building something... Melman's job is to start a fire. He has sticks strapped to his legs that he is attempting to rub together to create the fire. Eventually we learn that Alex has built a replica of the Statue of Liberty, expecting Melman's fire to light the torch. Melman is having difficulty getting a spark to start when...

Connection of flickclip to the concept: By banging the sticks together, Melman is applying mechanical energy. The friction produced by this motion produces heat energy, which causes a chemical reaction between the oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen atoms in the wood and the oxygen in the air. The result of this chemical reaction is fire.

Suggestions to Teachers:

1. The teacher should ask the students to think about the following questions while viewing the clip:

a. Why does Alex want to start a fire? What property of fire will help Alex with his goal?

b. How does Melman start the fire?

c. What is the biggest problem with the statue that Alex built? (If he wanted to have it burn only on the torch, it shouldn't have been made out of dry, flammable materials.)

2. Science is... by Susan V. Bosak: Page 173 "No Matches Allowed". In this activity, students will be instructed on how to produce a firebow and then a fire without matches or a lighter.

3. Have the students experiment with candles by depriving them of oxygen with a glass. Discuss why the candle goes out when the glass is covering it. Use this to start a discussion about different ways that fire crews put out fires and why those methods work.