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Royal Geographical Society (with IBG): the heart of geography
Where is Brazil? An identification of the human and physical features
The Brazilian climate
Urbanisation: the great tug of war
A city of two halves
The indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest
What is life like in Brazil?

Brazil - A city of two halves

This lesson was created to develop an understanding of the differences between the rich and the poor within Brazilian cities. The pupils will have the opportunity to gain an insight into the lives of people living in the rich and poor areas of Rio de Janeiro. They will be encouraged to use comparative descriptions.

The lesson also provides cross-curricular links to maths, allowing the pupils to create venn diagrams. It also links to PSHE/ SEAL by encouraging the pupils to think and discuss the lives of other people. 

Within this lesson, the working wall can be developed to include key vocabulary, terminology, and their definitions. Pupil work should be displayed on the working wall following the lesson. 

Key questions

  • To develop a knowledge and understanding of push/pull factors.
  • To develop a knowledge and understanding of the similarities and differences between rich and poor.
  • To compare the lives of the rich and poor in Brazil.
  • What do you think the statement: ‘a city of two halves’ means?
  • Where is Rio de Janeiro located?
  • What is the ‘poverty line’?
  • Why do around 16 million Brazilians live below the poverty line?
  • What are the similarities and differences between the rich and poor in Rio de Janeiro?
  • How do the lives of people in Brazil compare to lives of people in the UK?

Subject content areas

  • Locational knowledge: Locate the continent South America and country Brazil using maps. Concentrate on key physical and human characteristics of the city Rio de Janeiro.
  • Place Knowledge: understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region of South America.
  • Human geography, including: types of settlement and land use, economic activity, and the distribution of natural resources.
  • Geographical skills and fieldwork: Using information on the Rochinha favela and Barra da Tijuna to create a Venn diagram highlighting similarities and differences between these two areas of Rio de Janeiro.


Downloads


Additional links


Starter

Begin the lesson by sharing the title of the lesson with the pupils: a city of two halves. The teacher should pose the following question:

  • What do you think is meant by this statement?

The pupils should be then given talk time to discuss what they think the statement means in relation
to their geography topic of Brazil.

Following this, present pupils with the Incomplete Rio Image of Brazil (see downloadable resources). 
The image can also be displayed on the class board (see A City of Two Halves PPT). The teacher should explain that this is a real life image taken in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.  Teacher to pose the following question:

  • What do you think is on the other side of the image?

The pupils should then be given the Incomplete Rio Image (see downloadable resources) and allocated 5-10 minutes to complete the other half of the image. The teacher
should encourage the pupils to label their picture and explain why they chose to draw what they have.

The whole class should then share their ideas and discuss their reasoning. The teacher should encourage the pupils to once again use PEE (point, evidence, explanation) to develop their answers and use of reasoning.

Next, reveal the real image to the pupils (see A City of Two Halves PPT). Teacher to pose the following questions:

  • Is this the image you expected to see?
  • What do you think this image shows and teaches you about Rio de Janeiro?
  • How does this image link to the title of this lesson?

Pupils to discuss the image in depth. The teacher should allow pupils to share their opinions on the
image and what they think it shows them about the city.


Main

The main part of the lesson begins with a question:

  • Why do over 16 million Brazilians live below the poverty line? 

The teacher should immediately pose the following question:

  • What is meant by the geographical term: poverty line? 

Allow the pupils to discuss the question, before defining the poverty line to the pupils (see A City of Two Halves PPT). The definition used within the PPT is: people who do not have enough income (money) to afford essential resources such as food. 

It can be discussed with the pupils that the poverty line is usually set at people earning less than $1 per day (approximately 65p). At this point in the lesson (time dependent), the discussion may be taken further. Using the following questions, the teacher may choose to allow the pupils to discuss the matter further:

  • Do you think that you would be able to survive on less than 65p per day?
  • Does this mean that people in the UK can live in poverty?
  • How do you think living below the poverty line affects peoples’ lives?  

Using A City of Two Halves PPT, the lesson continues with a comparison between the rich and poor of Rio de Janeiro. Explain to the pupils that they will be focusing on two different areas of Rio: the Rochinha favela and Barra di Tijuca.

  • What is meant by the geographical term: favela? (A settlement of often poorly built homes – sometimes called slums - on the outskirts of a city). 

Begin by posing the question:

  • What do you imagine the poor areas of Rio de Janeiro, the Rochinha favela, to be like?
    (This question is usually followed by words such as: dirty, horrible, frightening.)
  • How do you think this will compare to the rich part of Rio, Barra di Tijuca? 

Following this, show pupils the image of the Rochinha favela (A City of Two Halves PPT). Pose the question:

  • Is this how you pictured the poorer parts of the city to look?
  • Think back to the previous question on what they imagine the favela to be like; would you still describe it in the same way? (The image is bright and colourful and will enable the pupils to understand that just because people are poor they do not have to live in dirty, dark places.) 

Watch the video about life in the Rochinha favela Rio de Janeiro. Go to the BBC Bitesize website

Main Activity

The main activity provides the pupils with an opportunity to learn about the similarities and differences between Rochinha and Barra di Tijuca. 

Using the A City of Two Halves PPT, web link, and the Barra di Tijuca information page the pupils will investigate the lives of people living in both areas. 

The pupils will draw a Venn diagram (or use Venn diagram template included in downloadable resources), add a title and use it to compare the similarities and differences. Dependent on the ability of the pupils in the class, this task may be modelled by the teacher first. 

Following this the pupils will take part in one of the differentiated tasks shown below.

Differentiation

Less able pupils: To write a birthday list for children living in the different areas and compare them. The pupils should be encouraged to think about the different things the children may want or need. This knowledge and understanding will be taken from the resources used in the previous tasks and their personal knowledge of young people. 

Middle ability pupils: To imagine that they are one of the young people living in Rio de Janeiro. They will write a diary entry in role as one of the children discussing their life in either in Barra Di Tijuca or the Rochinha favela. Within their diary entry they will think about the tasks they may carry out as that child and how that would differ to a child living in another part of the city. 

Higher ability pupils (extension):  This task will be supported by the teacher. The pupils will carry out a similar task to the middle ability pupils in writing a diary entry. However the pupils discuss the positive and negative aspects of living in different parts of the city. The teacher should lead this discussion with questions such as:

  • Are the lives of the children living in Barra Di Tijuca better than those living in Rochinha?
  • Do you think that the children living in Barra Di Tijuca have as much freedom?
  • Do the children in Rochinha have worse lives? Are they unhappier? 

(The aim of this discussion is to develop the pupils’ thinking. From the video links and information pages, they will have begun to infer that just because a child is poor it does not necessarily mean they are less happy. The teacher should discuss the aspects of life in Barra Di Tijuca which prevent young people from having as much freedom).


Plenary

The lesson will end with a celebration of the pupils work. The teacher should encourage pupils to
share their work with their peers and offer to display the work on the working wall.

The pupils can be encouraged to peer assess one another’s work and offer improvement comments
to eachother.

Finally, pose the question:

  • How do the lives of young people living in Brazil differ to those of young people living in the UK?
  • Are there any similarities?

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