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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.
  • Science and Engineering
    • 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.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking and Listening (K-12)
      • SL.9-12.3 Present information and supporting evidence appropriate to task, purpose, and audience so listeners can follow the line of reasoning and incorporate multimedia when appropriate.
  • Social Studies
    • Civics & Government
      • Civics & Government 1 (F2): Students understand the ideals, purposes, principles, structures, and processes of constitutional government in the United States and in the American political system, as well as examples of other forms of government and political systems in the world by explaining how and why democratic institutions and interpretations of democratic ideals and constitutional principles change over time.
  • Related Resources


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