Central America - Panama

Contributor: Jodi Powell. Lesson ID: 10802

Where can you see the sun rise over the Pacific and set over the Atlantic? Who was "The man who could make dirt fly"? Videos, online stuff and projects introduce you to Panama, more than just a canal!


World, World

learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Did you know Panama is the only place in the world where you can see the sun rise on the Pacific and set on the Atlantic? At its narrowest distance, only 80 kilometers of land separates the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.

If you don't know much about Panama, I bet you've heard of the Panama Canal, the man-made wonder that changed the world!

Let's learn more about this small country and the large man-made feat that occurred there!

We've finally arrived at the last country in our journey through Central America — Panama!

This lesson will primarily focus on the Panama Canal, but first let's learn a few of the basics about the country of Panama:

  • Read the article, watch the video, and use the interactive map at Easy Science for KIDS: "Panama".
  • Next, look through the information provided by NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Kids: "Panama".
  • Read through this list: "TEN FACTS ABOUT PANAMA" (www.tenfactsabout.co.uk).

Now let's dive into the heart of the lesson!

The Panama Canal

 Panama Canal

The building of the Panama Canal was an accomplishment many previously viewed as impossible. The Panama Canal shortened the journey from the Atlantic to the Pacific by 13,000 miles, and it elevated the United States to world superpower status for the first time.

Panama Canal journey map

Image from New Orleans Collegiate Academics, via BetterLesson.com, is licensed under the CC BY 3.0 US license.

Set aside one hour and twenty three minutes for the next portion of this lesson and maybe grab a bowl of popcorn, too. View the PBS documentary Building the Panama Canal Full Documentary from World of Knowledge below.

While viewing the video, take detailed notes, because you will use the notes to help you write an essay at the end of the lesson. Write down important facts such as names, events, and dates.

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