Lesson 703 – Pororoca: Brazil’s Famous Wave

The Amazon is famous for being the world’s largest river, but less well known for the massive tidal bore, a colossal wave that appears at the river’s mouth around the equinoxes. It’s called the Pororoca and surfers now flock from around the world to ride it. But it has nearly destroyed a city along the way. We are at São Domingos do Capim, and wait.

Learning Objective

Students will learn about the Amazon river, including the animal life, tidal waves, and the nearby city of Manaus.

Social Studies Standards

People, Places & Environments: F, H, J,

Discussion Prompts

  • Explain the scientific process behind the tidal bore wave, the Pororoca, and why this occurs. What factors have to be in place?
  • In the video, they refer to the river as a road. Extend this metaphor and discuss different aspects of the river as a road such as transportation and daily life.
  • What do you think the following quote means: “There is no one Amazon, there are several Amazons.” Replace the word Amazon with a natural feature in your region. Would the quote still make sense? Why or why not?
  • Why do you think rubber was so financially lucrative during the Rubber Boom in Manaus? What are some of the products they might have wanted to export?

Lesson Activities

  • Write a myth, poem or flash fiction about Pororoca, incorporating facts from the video.
  • Imagine you are a boat builder in the Amazon. Include facts and drawings about the 4-5 boats mentioned in the video.
  • Create a new boat that includes the best characteristics of each of the 4-5 boats in the video.
  • Create a mind map or wordle with words and phrases that show the sociodiversity of the large city of Manaus.
  • Create a visual map of the Amazon that illustrates the path it takes through Brazil. Include the most important cities, tributaries, oceans, and other landmarks and details.


  • adrenaline rush
  • anticipation
  • basin
  • bustling
  • debris
  • manatee
  • marsh
  • metropolis
  • sociodiversity
  • tributary


In the Americas Season 7 Lesson Episode 3