Lesson 702 – Brazil’s Pantanal: Wetlands and Wildlife

In southwestern Brazil, the Pantanal, the world’s largest freshwater swamp is home to a startling variety of wildlife, especially birds and caimans. Throughout this vast swampland, cowboys still roam America’s oldest ranches on specially adapted horses to follow herds of swamp cattle.

Learning Objective

Students will learn about the Pantanal, the southwestern area in Brazil, and the land and animals that live in that region.

Social Studies Standards

People, Places & Environments: E, F, I

Discussion Prompts

  • In the video it is mentioned that 90 % of the people who live in Brazil live within 100 miles of the ocean. Why do you think this happens and what might be the benefits? Where would you choose to live and why?
  • If you were going on a class field trip to the Pantanal, which wildlife would you be most interested in viewing and why? Which would you be least interested in viewing or interacting with?
  • In the Pantanal, it is stated that they are free to paint anything for graffiti art and express their ecological, sociological, ethical and political beliefs. Do you think all cities should allow this freedom? Why or why not? What might be the unintended consequences?
  • Do you think it is difficult to sustain the traditional culture in the Pantanal through social, economic and environmental means? What conservation methods do they focus on and why?

Lesson Activities

  • Create a postcard series of graffiti art in Brazil that highlights the techniques and materials that it incorporates. Provide visual examples of the techniques using rollers, sponges and stencils, as well as notes.
  • Create an infographic about Brazilian music, focusing on the type of music played in the video and researching popular music.
  • Create a book of Pantanal wildlife including the capybara, jaguar, piranha, caiman and the mountain javelina. Create a cycle that shows prey and predator.
  • Imagine you are part of the artisan cooperative that makes fish skin products. Work with a partner to create a new innovative product out of fish skin that would be useful for the Pantanal cooperative to sell in their region. Share your product with classmates.


  • ancestral
  • cacophony
  • caiman
  • capybara
  • colossal
  • graffiti art
  • grazed
  • misleading
  • mosaic
  • tropicality


In the Americas Season 7 Lesson Episode 2