Lesson 404: Ceará

A small state in Brazil’s dry northeast, Ceará is home to a variety of traditions not found in the rest of the vast country. The inland bush, called the sertão, is home to cowboys and an odd rodeo, while the coast supports fisherman whose wooden boats are little changed over the last several centuries. Ceará is home to Brazil’s most important religious shrine, its last laceweavers, and a startling array of tropical fruits.

Learning Objective

Students will learn about the people and traditions in Ceará, a state in the northeast part of Brazil.

Social Studies Standards

Culture: D, E

Discussion Prompts

  • Why do you think some aspects of life in the sertão have not changed much over the last several centuries? What factors might cause this?
  • In the video, it shows only women as lacemakers and only men as fishermen. Do you think there are opportunities for men to work as lacemakers and women to work in the fishing profession in Ceará? Why or why not?
  • Why do you think the temperature stays the same in Fortaleza, Ceará along the Beir-Amar ocean walk on the coast of northeast Brazil?
  • If you had to select one of the jobs in this video as your future profession, which job would you select and why did you choose it over the other options?

Lesson Activities

  • Create a commercial or advertisement about fruits in the Ceará that are unknown in other parts of the world. Make sure to include the cactus fruit. Share details that convince people to buy these fruits.
  • Create a four- way Venn Diagram that compares and contrasts the jobs of lacemaker, fisherman, wax producer, and sugarcane mill operator.
  • Research the Canindé religious shrine in Ceará and its worldwide importance as a Franciscan Pilgrimage. Create an informational pamphlet for interested visitors that shares its history, features and why it is so famous.
  • Create a trifold brochure that provides factual information about the lacemaking industry in Brazil including details of what is produced and how it became a thriving business.


  • anchor
  • barbs
  • launch
  • maneuvering
  • pilgrimage
  • papaya
  • prowess
  • sacrificial
  • shrine
  • vast


Lesson Plan