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Royal Geographical Society (with IBG): the heart of geography
Where is Brazil? An identification of the human and physical features
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A city of two halves
The indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest
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Brazil - Where is Brazil? An identification of the human and physical features

This lesson aims to encourage and develop the research skills of pupils, therefore teachers should encourage this skill throughout the lesson. The market place task cards can be used to complete the main activity. 

Within the unit, it is encouraged to display pupils’ work and develop ideas/topics covered through the use of a working wall in the classroom. This can be evolved throughout the unit but should begin with a large map of South America and Brazil. Key vocabulary and geographical terminology can be displayed on the working wall to encourage pupils to use it within their work.

Key questions

  • How many continents are there in the world? How many of these can you name?
  • Where is South America?
  • How many countries can you locate and name in South America?
  • What is a physical feature?
  • What is a human feature?
  • What is the name of the capital city of Brazil?
  • What is the longest river and highest mountain in Brazil?
  • Which countries border Brazil?
  • Can you identify and locate any of the geographical regions in Brazil?

Subject content areas

  • Locational knowledge: Use maps and atlases to locate the continent South America and the country Brazil. Identify the countries bordering Brazil.  Concentrate on Brazil’s environmental regions, key physical and human features, and major cities.
  • Place knowledge: Understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of Brazil.
  • Physical geography: Describe and understand the key aspects of physical geography, including: biomes and vegetation belts, rivers and mountains.
  • Geographical skills and fieldwork: Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate Brazil and surrounding countries and oceans and describe features studied.


Additional resources

Pupils will require access to:

  • World maps
  • Atlases and globes
  • Google Earth (if available)
  • Post-it notes

Additional links


Begin the lesson with the question: What do you think our new geography topic will be about?
Teacher to share the soundscapes and images of Brazil which can be located in the Where in the world am I? PPT

Question the pupils to assess their general knowledge and understanding of the images and soundscape. (Go to Vimeo website to watch the Brazil tourism video).

  • Where do you think this is?
  • Why do you think that?

The pupils should be given time to discuss their ideas with a partner and table group before reporting back to the whole class.

During the discussion, the teacher should encourage pupils to develop their speaking and listening skills by providing detailed answers, with evidence to support their ideas. Teachers can develop this using PEE (point, evidence and explanation) which will support the pupils’ cross-curricular reading skills.

Next, pose the question: where is Brazil? Provide pupils with a range of resources (maps, atlases, globes) to enable them to investigate this question. This is an excellent opportunity to allow pupils to access digital maps, such as Google Earth. Allow the pupils time to investigate the maps and encourage them to find out additional information about Brazil.

After that, provide the pupils with the opportunity to share their knowledge regarding Brazil with the class.

  • What do you already know about Brazil/South America?
  • What would you like to find out about Brazil/ South America?

Allow pupils time to share their ideas, before providing them with post-it notes to write down facts they know and information they want to find out. These post-it notes can be added to a working wall within the classroom which will evolve over the topic.


Introduce the market place activity to the pupils. Explain that in this lesson, the pupils will collect their own information about the locational, human and physical features within Brazil and South America which will develop their own knowledge and understanding of the topic. 

Using the Where in the world am I? PPT, explain the ‘Market Place’ task:

  • Stage 1: Preparation. Using the Market Place Task Cards (see downloads and below for more information), pupils work as a table to identify the task they have been asked to complete. All pupils on the table complete the task set and record.
  • Stage 2: Market. Teacher to choose one pupil from each table to remain in the same place (the stallholder). Explain that the stallholder’s job will be to teach new researchers about their specific topic. All of the other pupils rotate to the next table to find out the information and complete the task set by the stallholder. The teacher should change the stallholder each time to ensure different pupils have the opportunity to deliver to others and share their ideas.
  • Stage 3: Teaching. The pupils all return to their original table group after visiting each table where they should be given five minutes to share their knowledge with one another.
  • Stage 4: Quiz. Pupils will finally be assessed by a quiz (see the plenary).

Market Place Tasks

Each table to be set up with the five Market Place Task Cards (see downloadable resources). Each pupil should be given the Blank Map of South America and Blank Map of Brazil (see downloadable resources).

1. The cities of Brazil: can you locate the cities and oceans?

  • The capital city of Brazil is Brasilia with a population of approximately 2.5million
  • Using an atlas, can you locate the following cities on your map of Brazil? Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Salvador and Manaus.
  • Can you find out the name of the ocean bordering Brazil’s coastline?
  • Lots of cities in Brazil are located by the coast, what do you think is the reason for this? 

2. The rivers and mountains of Brazil

  • The longest river in South America is located in Brazil. This is called the Amazon River. The Amazon River is 6516km in length.
  • Brazil has impressive mountain ranges. The Serra do Espinhaço mountain range covers the largest area. The Tumucumaque, Imeri and Pacaraima mountain ranges have the highest peaks.
  • Using an atlas and interactive maps (Digimap/Google Earth), draw the Amazon River and mountains onto your blank map of South America and/or blank map of Brazil add a key explaining its key features.

3. The location of Brazil: How good are your map skills?

  • Brazil is located in South America.
  • It is bordered by 10 countries.
  • Using an atlas can you try to locate the 10 countries that border Brazil and write them on your map of South America?
  • The Equator crosses through Brazil; can you identify this on a map or in an atlas?

4. What is the difference between a human and a physical feature?

  • Pupils should be sat close to the whiteboard in order to access the human and physical features PPT- see downloads. Alternatively, this could be printed out and placed onto the table so that pupils can access the information.
  • Within this task, pupils should be encouraged to work together to read the information on the PPT.
  • Pupils should form a detailed definition of a human and physical feature and provide examples of each. 

5. The geographical regions of Brazil (see Geographical Regions Information download- pupils should have access to this on their table).

  • There are six major ecosystems in Brazil known as: Tropical rainforest (Amazonia), The Cerrado, The Pantanal, The Pampas, The Caatinga, The Mata Atlantica.
  • Using the map and information, locate the different ecosystems found in Brazil. 


Having collected all of the information about Brazil and South America during the market place activity the pupils will end the lesson with an assessment quiz (see downloads).

Each table group will be presented with 10 questions and the Blank Map of South America (see downloads). Working as a group, or independently, pupils answer the questions in the quiz in five minutes.

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