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6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Social Studies, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom
  • Lesson Plan

Regional Focus

South and Central America



Debate Land Use in Brazil

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  • In this activity, students will work in groups to debate one of three climate change issues in Brazil: niobium mining, creating natural preserves, or using deforested land for agriculture.

Teaching Tips


  • The handout links to several credible resources for students to use in preparation for the debate.
  • The teacher's guide and the handout can be downloaded and used offline.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The resource recommends using credible resources for research and provides some examples. It's important to reiterate this with the students.
  • The teacher's guide presents this as a single debate; however, there are three debate topics. Teachers can choose different topics for different groups or the same topic for the whole class.


  • Teachers could invite other students or faculty to judge the debates.
  • Geography or social studies classes could discuss how the Amazon rainforest plays a vital role in the environmental health of the whole planet. 
  • Other resources include this ClimateScience debate activity on climate change issues in Israel, this article on the importance of forests in Brazil, and this video about how the Amazon rainforest plays a vital role in the water cycle. 
Scientist Notes
Students will sharpen their debate and analytical skills on environmentalism, justice, and advocacy. This resource is recommended.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • HS-ESS3-3 Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.10.9-12 Analyze the impact and the appropriate roles of personal interests and perspectives on the application of civic virtues, democratic principles, constitutional rights, and human rights.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence, conveying a clear and distinct perspective, such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning, alternative or opposing perspectives are addressed, and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and a range of formal and informal tasks.
  • Related Resources


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