Stories from the Panama Canal

The stories of the Silver People, the West Indies immigrants hired to work on the Panama Canal, come to life in a lesson about the building of the Panama Canal. Groups research why the canal was built, how it was build, the working conditions, etc., and then use their findings to add depth to the stories in Margarita Engle's stories.

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CCSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas
  • Incorporate in a World History/Geography unit on the building of the Panama Canal
  • Combine with vignettes from Sandra Cisneros' The House of Mango Street in an ELA study of author's voice
Classroom Considerations
  • Requires individual copies of Margarita Engle's Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal

The detailed plan includes suggestions for additional activities and adaptations

  • None