Minas Gerais is a state located in the southeastern region of Brazil. It is known for its rich history, culture, and natural beauty. The state is also a major contributor to Brazil’s economy, particularly in the areas of mining and agriculture.


 

Introduction:

Minas Gerais is a state located in the southeastern region of Brazil. It is known for its rich history, culture, and natural beauty. The state is also a major contributor to Brazil’s economy, particularly in the areas of mining and agriculture and has been (present perfect) for many years.

Minas Gerais is home to a number of important historical sites, including the colonial-era towns of Ouro Preto and Tiradentes. Both towns are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites, and are popular tourist destinations due to their well-preserved architecture and charming cobblestone streets. 

In addition to its historical sites, Minas Gerais is also known for its beautiful landscapes and outdoor activities. The state is home to a number of national parks and nature reserves, such as the Serra do Curral mountain range and the Serra da Canastra National Park. These areas offer a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, and birdwatching. 

NEW VOCABULARY: located, natural beauty, major contributor, particularly, mining, UNESCO, heritage, well-preserved, charming, cobblestone, landscapes, 
outdoor, activities, reserves, variety, hiking, camping, birdwatching 

AUDIO: (listen to the audio while at the same time reading the text out loud. What does this do? This is the fastest way to improve your English. Reading whilst listening whilst speaking.

Section One:

Minas Gerais is also an important agricultural state, known for its production of coffee, soybeans, and other crops. The state is also home to a number of large mining companies, and is a major producer of iron ore, gold, and other minerals. Portuguese settlers  had lived (past perfect)  in the area for generations before it was discovered that the area was rich in minerals. 

Despite its rich history and natural beauty, Minas Gerais also faces some challenges. The state has one of the highest rates of poverty and inequality in Brazil, and there are also serious issues with crime and public safety. Some people say that if Brazil had been discovered  (past perfect) by a different country such as Spain or England in the 1500s, the country would have had so many problems with crime and corruption.

NEW VOCABULARY: production, crops, major, producer, iron ore, minerals, despite, faces, challenges, highest, rates, poverty, 
inequality, crime, public safety

AUDIO: (listen to the audio while at the same time reading the text out loud. What does this do? This is the fastest way to improve your English. Reading whilst listening whilst speaking.

Grammar Section (Past Perfect)

 

Video Section:   Watch the short video and answer the four questions below:

Questions:

                1.  What does the expression ‘paid-off handsomely’ mean?
                2.  What is the meaning of the word ‘baroque mean?
                3.  What is an ‘old world heritage’?
                4.  What is a ‘gold boom’?

Section Two:

Minas Gerais, a large inland state in southeastern Brazil, is known for colonial-era towns dating to the country’s 18th-century gold rush. With cobblestone streets, ornate mansions and baroque churches decorated by the sculptor Aleijadinho, these towns include São João del Rei, Tiradentes and Ouro Preto, the old capital. The famous steam train Maria Fumaça (“Smoking Mary”) links Tiradentes to São João del Rei.

 

NEW VOCABULARY: inland, colonial-era, ornate, mansions, baroque churches, scupture, steam train

 

AUDIO: (listen to the audio while at the same time reading the text out loud. What does this do? This is the fastest way to improve your English. Reading whilst listening whilst speaking.

Section Three:

Deep culinary credibility

When Brazilians talk food, they’ll usually tell you the gaúchos in the South are the best at beef and Paulistanos are the best at pizza and everything gourmet. But the Mineiros — as the people of Minas Gerais are known — are the best at pretty much everything they do in a kitchen.
It’s impossible to have a bad meal here, but if you are a serious foodie and want to get straight to the heart of this heavy, pork-dependent country cuisine, head straight to the cinematic colonial village of Tiradentes, a place of holy worship for gourmands in the know.
NEW VOCABULARY: pretty much, kitchen, straight to the heart, pork-dependant, cuisine, holy, worship

 

AUDIO: (listen to the audio while at the same time reading the text out loud. What does this do? This is the fastest way to improve your English. Reading whilst listening whilst speaking.

Section Four:

Minas Gerais is home to some of the most fiercely preserved colonial towns in Brazil.
Built on the takings of gold and coffee, cobblestoned living museums like the UNESCO World Heritage-designated old towns of Ouro Preto and Diamantina and the sleepy foodie haven of Tiradentes harbour many of the country’s most photogenic streets, flush with whitewashed villas doused in colorful trim and staunchly committed to their centuries-old ways.
There is a palpable stuck-in-time feel as you wander these stunning villages a world away from the Atlantic Ocean.
NEW VOCABULARY: fiercely, preserved, cobblestoned, designated, sleep, foodie, haven, harbour, photogenic, flush, whitewashed, doused, frim, staunchly, palpable, stuck-in-time, stunning

 

AUDIO: (listen to the audio while at the same time reading the text out loud. What does this do? This is the fastest way to improve your English. Reading whilst listening whilst speaking.

Section Five:

The discovery of gold and diamonds in Minas Gerais in the 18th century led to a gold rush and a population boom in the region. The mining of these precious metals brought wealth and prosperity to the region, but also led to the exploitation of enslaved people and indigenous populations. The gold mines were operated primarily by Portuguese colonizers and their descendants, while the diamond mines were controlled by the Dutch and the French. 

One of the most famous gold mines in Minas Gerais is the Ouro Preto mine, located in the city of the same name. The mine was in operation from the 18th to the 20th century and was one of the most productive in the region. The city of Ouro Preto is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, and visitors can still see the remnants of the mine and learn about its history.

NEW VOCABULARY: led to, precious, metals, brought, wealth, prosperity, exploitation, enslaved, indigenous gold mines, operated by, primarily, descendants, Dutch, French, located, operation, visitors, remnants

 

AUDIO: (listen to the audio while at the same time reading the text out loud. What does this do? This is the fastest way to improve your English. Reading whilst listening whilst speaking.

Section Six:

Another important gold mine in Minas Gerais is the Sabara mine, located in the city of Sabara. The mine was in operation from the 18th to the 20th century and produced a significant amount of gold. The city of Sabara also has a rich history, and it was an important center of the Brazilian independence movement.

Minas Gerais was also an important center for diamond mining in Brazil. The state was home to several diamond mines, including the Diamantina mine, which was one of the most productive diamond mines in the world during the 18th and 19th centuries. The mine was operated by the Portuguese and the French, and the diamonds mined there were used to finance the construction of important buildings and public works in the region.

The legacy of gold and diamond mining in Minas Gerais can still be seen today in the state’s economy, culture, and architecture. The wealth generated by the mines led to the construction of grandiose churches and public buildings in the colonial-era towns, such as Ouro Preto, Sabara and Diamantina.

 

NEW VOCABULARY: significant, several, diamond, mines, wealth, generated, grandiose

 

AUDIO: (listen to the audio while at the same time reading the text out loud. What does this do? This is the fastest way to improve your English. Reading whilst listening whilst speaking.

Section Seven:

In conclusion, the history of gold and diamond mining in Minas Gerais has played a significant role in shaping the region’s economy and culture. The mines brought wealth and prosperity to the region, but also led to the exploitation of enslaved people and indigenous populations. Despite the negative aspects of the mining industry, the state’s rich history and architecture is a testament to the impact of the gold and diamond mining in the region.

 

NEW VOCABULARY: In conclusion, a significant role, shaping, exploitation, a testament

 

AUDIO: (listen to the audio while at the same time reading the text out loud. What does this do? This is the fastest way to improve your English. Reading whilst listening whilst speaking.

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Writing Section:

Write about your last trip to Minas Gerais. Tell me what you did and the places you visited.

Grammar: 

Within your writing include two examples of the past perfect progressive. Below you will find a video lesson and a link to the   FREE STUDENT BOOK CLUB. These documents will help you.

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