Sunday, December 4, 2011

Building the Panama Canal - Lesson Plans & Video

One of my favorite television programs is American Experience. And one of my favorite US Presidents to read about is Theodore Roosevelt. The construction of the Panama Canal was one of the projects that Roosevelt pursued with vigor. Therefore, I was excited when I discovered that American Experience has a ninety minute program about the building of the Panama Canal. I recently enjoyed watching the program (in chunks because I never seem to have 90 uninterrupted minutes these days) and exploring some of American Experience's related resources. I've embedded the beginning of the program below, click here to watch the whole program.

Watch The Panama Canal on PBS. See more from AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.

Applications for Education
American Experience has some nice resources to support a teacher's use of the Panama Canal documentary in the classroom. The Interactive Panama Canal Map allows viewers to click on different parts of the canal and explore the challenges faced in building the canal and the technology used to construct it. The Timeline of the Panama Canal doesn't have any interactive elements but it does offer a great overview of the history of the canal. And as usual American Experience has some good lesson plan suggestions connected to the video. My favorite of their suggestions is their suggestion and inclusion of editorial cartoons about the construction of the Panama Canal.