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Panama Canal
The Locks that connect the Atlantic and the Pacific

Where's Panama?
World map centered on Panama.
Click on the circle around Panama to zoom in.

Questions || Resources || Next Step

Read and discuss the resource websites to answer the following questions:

  1. Why was the Panama Canal Built?
  2. Why did they choose Panama for building the canal? Was Panama the first choice? Why or why not? What was the first choice?
  3. Who built the Panama Canal first? Did they succeed? Why or why not?
  4. Who built the Panama Canal second? Did they succeed? Why or why not?
  5. How long is the Panama Canal?
  6. How high above sea level is the highest part of the canal?
  7. What is an isthmus?
  8. What were the two worst diseases that killed the canal workers?
  9. Who was the United States president that was most responsible for the canal?
  10. In what year did the first boat make an official passage through the canal?
  11. What direction does a boat travel that goes from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean through the canal?
  12. What year did Panama obtain control over the canal from the United States?
  13. How many years did it take the United States to build the canal?
  14. What country owned the Panama area before the United States helped Panama form its own country?
  15. What are the small electric locomotives on the canal used for? What are they called?
  16. What United States president signed the treaty to give the canal back to Panama? What year did Panama finally get ownership of their own canal zone?
  17. What is the average amount of money paid by each ship going through the canal?
  18. What is the average number of ships going through the canal each day?
  19. What are the differences between the Panama Canal and the Ballard locks?
  20. What are the similarities between the Panama Canal and the Ballard locks?


A Historic Handover - TFK

World Almanac - Panama Canal

Wikipedia - Panama Canal

Panama Canal Links

Ballard Locks Website

Ballard Locks Pictures

Extra Credit Sites:

Panama Takes Control

The Canal is Ours

Panama Canal Running Out of Water?

The Big Ditch: Panama's Big Opportunity

Here are some helpful sites for making your brochures:

Panama Canal Toll Charges!

Size of ships!!

Toll Calculator! (If you can get the weight and length of your boat or ship, you can calculate how much it will cost to cross the Panama Canal! A 49 foot, almost 2 ton sail boat will cost about $520 while the highest Canal toll was $141,344.91, charged to a cruise ship called the Crown Princess!)

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Next Step:

Now that you have some information about the Panama Canal, create a brochure using Word to advertise to the world.

Click here for brochure template #1.

Click here for brochure template #2.

Click here for brochure template #3.

You have been hired by Panama to create an advertising brochure to let shipping companies know what a great service they provide and to provide information about the Panama Canal for anyone. Use any one of the three brochure templates.

Make sure to visit Panama's canal site to get pricing information and to get pictures!

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