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The Panama Canal for World Geography
Essential question: How do place, location, and movement matter at the Panama Canal?
Grade level: 10th
Targeted Standards: CDE SS standards for GEO, SS Standard 2-1 (b, c, & d) create and
interpret maps, analyze and present info using geo. tools, evaluate physical/human
features,; 2-3 human-environmental interconnectivity.
Learning objectives:
1. SWBAT demonstrate understanding of Panama canal cultural and physical
geography by analyzing text and news articles for major geographical themes.
2. SWBAT demonstrate examples of human-environmental interaction in their chosen
news article.
3. SWBAT verbally relate current events in Panama to geographical themes.
Dry-erase board & markers, laptop/internet connection, overhead projector, current events
handout sheets.
Student Activity

Mark their guess as to location of the

Panama Canal.
Listen, observe, answer verbal

Teacher Activity
Facilitate opening hook: students
will receive dry-erase marker as
they come in the door, mark on
projected map of region their guess
of location of Panama Canal before
they sit down.
Go over learning objectives,
explain why we will study Panama
Canal (i.e., globalization).
Connect back to previous lesson by
defining human-environmental
interaction again (in relation to their
tourism project).


Read text from Panama Canal

worksheet as individuals, silently.

Assist students, answer questions.

Interpret and respond to questions from

worksheet as individuals, silently.


Find news articles online in pairs (will

collaborate using partner as a resource,
but responsible for finding/analyzing
article on their own).

Write down appropriate news

sources on board.

Students will write a brief summary of


Remind students to pull out their

examples of human-environmental
interaction in their summary.

Early finishers will review/critique

their partners article summary.
Rest of class will continue working on
their sheets, delving into the analysis of
human-environmental interaction.

Discuss basic components of a

credible news article. Pull up
examples of good/bad sources.
Assist students, answer questions.

Advise those students who are

finished to review a partners work
and critique. Explain that students
should ask why is the article
important? and is humanenvironmental interaction at work?
Lead mini-discussion over current
events in Panama.


Listen, observe, answer teachers

First member of pair explains how their
own and their partners article relate to
each other. Partner evaluates level of
human-environmental interaction in

Facilitate discussion.
Review learning objectives and ask
questions of each one. After several
satisfactory answers, administer
thumbs-up, thumbs-down.
Inform students of next class
periods agenda.
Review data on students
worksheets, article summaries.

Approximate time: ~60 mins


Informal, formative; thumbs-up, thumbs-down will be administered during closure/evaluation
section to gauge measure of meeting the learning objectives.
Formal worksheet will be reviewed.
Anticipated misconceptions/alternative conceptions:
Students may not grasp what human-environmental interaction means or how it is occurring
when reading a primary source (like a news article).
Students may need more or less time to complete their worksheets.
Students who finish their articles early will be asked to critique a partners article response and
add one thing they think their partner missed.