LEARNING STRATEGY: Talk Yourself through It
STANDARDS: Cultures 2.2


Language:Any language. Example in Portuguese.

Proficiency Level: Intermediate, Advanced

Brief description of the activity: Students research and complete a worksheet on the most important exports and imports of Brazil.


  1. Students will be able to identify the primary exports and imports of Brazil.
  2. Students will be able to use their own inner resources to accomplish a task.

Language focus:Reading, Writing

Materials:Learning sheets; Reference books; Printouts


  1. Introduce the content
    The teacher gives the students an assignment: Find out the most important exports and imports of Brazil and complete a worksheet on the information.
  2. Explain that sometimes we feel overwhelmed by a task because we don't think that we can accomplish it successfully. Sometimes internal support (a dialogue or even a think-I-can type mantra) can give us the confidence we need to complete a task. For example, I am panicked because I have no idea what sort of goods Brazil exports, but let me take a moment to think about this. I have several resources available to help me: the library, my social studies teacher and the Internet. First I can read the worksheet then I can see what information I need. This really isn't as hard as I had first thought…
  3. Practice
    The teacher tells the students that it might seem overwhelming at first but they should stop and focus. What do they already know? What might they guess based on what they know? What resources are available to them in the classroom? What resources might they find outside of the classroom? If they talk themselves through the task, they will find it less overwhelming.

    A completed student worksheet (the English translation follows the Portuguese):

    Nombre: Mary Johnson
    As Principais Exportações e Importações do Brasil
    O que exporta o Brasil?
    equipamento para transportes
    minério de ferrore
    bentos de soja
    O que importa o Brasil?
    equipamento eléctrico
    equopamento para transportes
    produtos químicos
    Explique como fez para encontrar esta informação.
    1. Perguntei a mim próprio o que sabia sobre o Brasil. O Brasil é célebre pelo seu café, por isso, o café é provavelmente uma exportação principal. O Brasil é um país muito grande. Provavelmente tem recursos naturais tais como minerais. Provavelmente também exporta alguns alimentos. Importações? Talvez roupa? Eu começava a sentir que talvez conseguisse fazer este trabalho sozinho.
    2. Depois perguntei a mim próprio que recursos podia consultar. Uma enciclopédia provavelmente teria a informação. Eu sei usar uma enciclopédia. Também sou bom a fazer pesquisa informática. Eu podia ir ao Google.com e escrever 'Brasil' e 'importações' e 'exportações'.
    3. Depois da escola eu fui à biblioteca e encontrei a informação numa enciclopéidia. Também usei o computador para poder imprimir a informação. Fiquei feliz por conseguir fazer este trabalho sozinho!

    Name: Mary Johnson
    Brazil's Major Exports and Imports
    What does Brazil export?
    transport equipment
    iron ore (minério de ferro)
    iron ore (minério de ferro)
    footwear (calçado)
    coffee (caf)
    What does Brazil import?
    electrical equipment
    transport equipment
    transport equipment
    Explain the steps you followed to find this information.
    1. I asked myself what I knew about Brazil. Brazil is famous for its coffee so coffee is probably a major export. Brazil is a very large country. It probably has some natural resources such as minerals. It probably also exports some food. Imports? Perhaps clothing? I was beginning to feel as if I could accomplish this task by myself.
    2. Then I asked myself what resources I could consult. An encyclopedia would probably have the information. I'm good at using an encyclopedia. I am also good at doing computer searches. I could go to google.com and put in 'Brazil' and 'Imports' and 'exports'.
    3. I went to the library after school and found the information in an encyclopedia. I also used the computer so that I could print out some information. I was happy that I could do this assignment on my own!


  1. Have learners research the same information about US products and create a similar worksheet.
  2. Remind students that inner resources can help us accomplish almost anything!

Teacher Resources (to help teacher enhance activity):
Internet resources.

The Portuguese version of the worksheet was prepared by Teresa D'Eca, Lisbon, Portugal.