Shanna has been an educator for 20 years and earned her Master of Education degree in 2017. She enjoys using her experience to provide engaging resources for other teachers.
Brazil Project Ideas
Brazilian culture, history, and the country's natural resources are all great topics for in-depth projects. Use these project ideas with your middle or high school students to guide them through exploration of this country's many wonderful attributes. Each project can be completed independently, with partners, or in teams. Additionally, research forms the basis and each one incorporates a unique product and a presentation element.
A large portion of the Amazon rainforest lies within the bounds of Brazil. The history of this area, as well as its biodiversity and conservation efforts, can all lead to fascinating discoveries. In this project, students can research the rainforest's history, from deforestation to conservation. Additionally, they can explore the diversity of plant and animal species that can be found nowhere else on Earth.
- Materials: overview of Amazon rainforest biodiversity and history, art supplies, poster board, research resources, technology access, research guide (optional, for added support)
- Provide students with an overview of the Amazon rainforest, focusing on biodiversity, deforestation, and conservation.
- Allow students to select one of those three topics. Provide them with resources for thorough research. Provide a research guide for additional support.
- Provide students with art supplies and poster board.
- Ask students to create a poster that highlights a plant or animal species only found in the Amazon rainforest, an overview of deforestation, or a campaign for conservation.
- Provide adequate time for students to complete their posters.
- Ask students to present their projects and display them as a visual reminder of the natural wonders of this country.
The arts are an important part of Brazilian culture. In this project, students will explore the connection between Samba and Carnival, with specific exploration of various Samba schools. They will wrap up with a multimedia presentation that captures the essence of Carnival.
- Materials: overview of Samba and Carnival, information about Samba schools, research guide and/or organizer (optional, for added support), technology access, research resources for in-depth exploration of the topics, video creation tool
- Begin by providing students with a brief overview of Samba and Carnival. Introduce the concept of Samba schools, which are organizations that celebrate and practice Samba performances and perform in Carnival.
- Provide research resources. Have students research the history of Samba, including the connection to colonialism, slavery, and West African influences. For added support, ask students to complete a research organizer.
- Provide additional research resources. Have students explore the connection between Carnival and the Catholic period of Lent. Provide a research guide for added support.
- Have students select a Samba school to research in more detail.
- Provide students with resources to create a multimedia presentation related to their selected Samba school's performances in Carnival. Remind them to incorporate some of the historical and religious connections within the introduction of their presentation.
- Give time for students to complete their projects
- Provide an opportunity for students to present their projects to others.
Textile Industry In-Depth
The textile industry, particularly cotton and leather, is a relatively new industry in Brazil. In this project, students will explore this booming industry, as well as Brazil's influence on the fashion world. They will wrap up with a presentation filled with both industry information and the glitz and glamour of Brazilian fashion.
- Materials: technology access, overview of textile industry, examples of Brazilian fashion, research resources, research guide or organizer (optional, for added support), presentation software
- Provide students with an overview of the textile industry in Brazil, as well as examples of common Brazilian fashion designs.
- Provide students with research resources and a research guide or organizer, if additional support is needed.
- Have students select a specific fashion to research in-depth. Give them adequate time to explore the growing textile industry and their selected fashion focus.
- Provide students with access and guidance to presentation software. Instruct them to create a well-designed overview using a balance of text and images to highlight the information they gathered.
- Provide time for student presentations.
Brazil has a complex political history, including Native cultures, colonization, slavery, independence, military dictatorship, and democracy. In this project, students will explore the details of Brazil's journey to democracy. They will create either a print or digital timeline showing the progression.
- Materials: technology access, research resources, research guide or organizer (optional, for added support), digital timeline tool OR poster boards and art supplies for print timeline creation
- Provide students with a brief overview of the political history of Brazil.
- Provide students with research resources and a timeline example, either digital or print, to clarify your expectations. Provide a research guide or organizer, if necessary for additional support.
- Give adequate time for students to complete research and compile timeline components (text and images).
- Allow students to share their timelines in a unique fashion, such as a gallery walk or an interactive timeline showcase.
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