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Stories from the Panama Canal - Lesson Plan

A Common Core Standards Lesson Plan to Accompany 2015
Américas Award Winner Silver People: Voices from the Panama
Canal by Margarita Engle.


Key topics:Oral storytelling; Panama Canal; Roosevelt; Power; Resistance; poetic prose; point of view; voice; historical fiction

Learning Goals:

Students will: 

  • gain a more nuanced understanding of the people, hisotry and cultures surrounding the building of the Panama Canal
  • consider the significance of perspective and bias in literature and historical accounts
  • be able to recognize the distinct writing voices as they read mentor texts and hear oral accounts of stories
  • recognize distinct elements of culture across various mentor texts
  • strengthen their writer's voice through practice and implementation of sentence fluency in their writing
  • be able to recognize hidden voices within stories and historical accounts


Kaela Thomasson Pavao


Lesson Plans

Grade Levels



English, History, Geography, Human Geography, Sociology