Subject: History, Social Studies
Lesson Length: 45 - 60 mins
Topic: Panama Canal Debate
Grade Level: 8
Standards / Framework:
Brief Description: Students will practice their research and debate skills by creating a comic which explains their perspective on a historic event.
Know Before You Start: Students should be familiar with the issues related to the U.S. taking ownership of the Panama Canal.
Read and discuss the sample comic.
What were the benefits of building the Panama Canal?
What were the costs?
Why would building a canal be difficult?
Why did Panama oppose the building of the canal?
As students answer, list arguments for and against on the board.
Activity: After reading, discussing and critically thinking about this issue, students will create a six-panel comic presenting the issue of whether the United States should have taken over the Panama Canal zone and built the Panama Canal.
- The comic should reflect the student’s opinion as to whether or not the building of the canal was a good idea.
- Students should include specific details supporting their opinion.
- Have students present their comics to the class and display them on a bulletin board or online.
Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature.
- Allow students to work in pairs or groups as needed.
Provide a printout of the sample comic for student reference.
- Explore more recent debates regarding the Panama Canal.
- Comic to print or display: Comic.
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