Lesson 510 – The Brazilian state of Ceará

From dazzling beaches to verdant mountains to parched scrubland, Ceará, exhibits many of the attractions and the contradictory currents that Brazilians face. We visit the old sections of the capital city of Fortaleza, a once-isolated beach town, the sweltering inland semi-desert, and the lush mountain range that forms the state’s garden basket.

Learning Objective

Students will learn about the Brazilian state of Ceará and its beaches, mountains, and scrubland.

Social Studies Standards

People, Places, & Environments: H, I

Discussion Prompts

  • What is so special about the geographical location of Fortaleza that the Portuguese had to build a fortress? Who might attack the area? Why?
  • The mayor of Fortaleza said that Fortaleza is the fastest growing city nationwide. What might be some of the challenges related to growth? What did you observe in the video that could support your thinking?
  • According to Ricardo Bezerra, Fortaleza benefited from the American civil war by exporting cotton. Why would the United States need cotton during that time? Fortaleza gained wealth because of the transaction. What did the United States gain?
  • Creativity seems to be the trend of this episode. Among many other products, drums, whistles, and other instruments made from clay seem to be very different. What are some of the pros and cons about this type of material for instruments? Is there another low-cost material that could be used for the same purpose?

Lesson Activities

  • Which historical building in your area would you repurpose like the prison in Fortaleza that turned into an art market? Write about the building and draw the before and after picture.
  • Fortaleza has 33 kilometers of coastal area. How does the city benefit from it? Create a new product for beach goers. Give it a name and plan a marketing campaign.
  • Produce a new five-minute video promoting Ceará ‘s art, food, coastal area to share on social platforms.
  • Create a recipe for a new dish inspired by Fortaleza’s seafood cuisine. Give measurements and detailed instructions.


  • constructive
  • drought
  • dunes
  • forró
  • inequality
  • isolated
  • metropolis
  • migration
  • scrubby
  • sertão


In the Americas Season 5 Lesson Episode 10