Unit 1 Geography

Lesson 2: Brazil's Economy


  • Brazil is characterized by large and well-developed agricultural, mining, manufacturing, and service sectors, and a rapidly expanding middle class, Brazil's economy outweighs that of all other South American countries, and is expanding its presence in world markets. Students will analyze a reading on economic data, view a video clip about Brazil’s economy compare the two, and then create a cartoon.
    Suggested time allowance: 2 class periods

Unifying Theme: (based on the National Council for the Social Studies)

  • Creation, Expansion and Interaction of Economic Systems

New York State Social Studies Framework

  • Social Studies Standard 4: Economics
  • Key Ideas and Conceptual Understandings
    • 3.9 Communities meet their needs and wants in a variety of ways, forming the basis for their economy.
      • 3.9a World communities use human and natural resources in different ways.
      • 3.9b People in communities have various ways of meeting their basic needs and earning a living.
      • 3.10 Each community develops an economic system that addresses three questions: what will be produced, how will it be produced, and who will get what is produced?
      • 3.10a Communities around the world produce goods and provide services. 
      • 3.10b World communities have needs, wants, and limited resources. To meet their needs and wants communities trade with others. Technological developments in transportation and communication have influenced trade.
  • Social Studies Practices:
    • Economics and Economic Systems
      • Examine how scarcity affects the decisions about the use of resources by people and governments; examine the cost and benefits of economic decisions.
      • Identify the variety of resources available in a particular world community used to produce goods and/or provide services.
      • Identify the products found in world communities and the various ways people in those communities pay for products.
      • Examine the goods and services provided by world communities; describe what goods and services a world community trades with other world communities.

Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy

  • RI.3.4: Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 3 topic or subject area.
  • RI.3.6: Distinguish their own point of view from that of the author of a text.
  • RI.3.9: Compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic.
  • W.3.11: Create and present a poem, narrative, play, art work, or personal response to a particular author or theme studied in class.
  • SL.3.1: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

Unit Essential Question:

  • How is Brazil similar to and different from other world communities?

Resources/Materials for this lesson:


Day 1

1. Project the image of the “Brazilian Real” and ask students what this is. (Money used in Brazil) What is it used for? (To pay for goods and services.) Does anyone know anything produced in Brazil? Ask to the K column on the KWL chart. What do you want to know?

2. Project and distribute the reading “Brazil’s Economy.” This reading will introduced the sectors of the Brazilian economy while giving the students practice in reading charts and statistics. The questions are embedded in the reading.

Day 2

1. Show “Brazil the 6th Largest World Economy.” You may only wish to show the first 2 minutes that deal with the economy. Stop the video at different points and discuss the image seen. Ask questions like:

  • What sector of the Brazilian economy does this show?
  • What statistics does the video clip show us? Do they agree with our reading? (For example, it claims Brail is the 6th largest economy; our reading claims it is the 7th.) What kinds of questions would we want to ask to find out which is right?
  • What is the videographer’s point of view about Brazil? What do you think his purpose was in making the video clip?
  • After having looked at the two different texts, what is your point of view about Brazil’s economy? Pair share your ideas.

2. For homework ask student to create a cartoon to illustrate a key point about Brazil’s economy.

3. The next day give students time to display and explain their cartoons and note what they have learned about Brazil’s economy of the KWL Chart.


  • Completed cartoon and presentation


  • economy
  • import
  • export
  • GDP
  • surplus
  • Real
  • agricultural
  • manufacturing
  • service


Integrated Social Studies/English Language Arts Curriculum (Grade 3)
©Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES Curriculum & Instructional Services
Last Revised 9/27/16