Friday, July 24, 2015

Poetry, Geography, and Writing: Costa Rica and Panama

Costa Rica
Photo Credit: Arturo Sotillo 
Geography Skills:

Population Map.
Look at some different types of population maps, ones that use colors or dots to track different info.
Here's a good one to start with.

Warm Up: 

Do the blank map of Central America worksheet. On the top map, use a reference map to help you. On the bottom map, try labeling as many countries as you can on your own.

Six Things to Know About Costa Rica:

1. Costa Rica was part of the intermediate region between Mesoamerican to the north and Andean to the south native cultures.

2. Christopher Columbus landed in Costa Rica in 1502. Costa Rica became part of the Captaincy General of Guatemala, a province of New Spain.

3. After the Mexican War of Independence (1810-1821) Costa Rica became part of the independent Mexican Empire in 1821.

4. In 1823 Costa Rica became part of the Federal Republic of Central America in 1823

5. Full independence in 1838.

6. Today Costa Rica has dismantled its military and depends on eco-tourism for an income.

Six Things to Know About Panama

1. A French company first tried to build a canal in Panama, which was owned by Colombia.

2. U.S. had helped Colombia suppress rebels and prevent Panamanians from seizing control of Panama, but when Colombia wouldn't let the U.S. take over the canal, the U.S. sided with the rebels and helped them become independent.

3. The U.S. got sovereignty over a strip of land ten miles wide and fifty miles long, forever.

4. Simon Bolivar, South American liberator, had said: "The Isthmian States, from Panama to Guatemala, will perhaps form an association. This magnificent position between the two great oceans could with time become the emporium of the universe. Its canals will shorten the distances of the world: they will narrow commercial ties between Europe, America and Asia; and bring to such fortunate region the tributes of the four parts of the globe. Perhaps some day only there could the capital of the world be established! New Granada will join Venezuela, if they convene to form a new republic, their capital will be Maracaibo….This great nation would be called Colombia in tribute to the justice and gratitude of the creator of our hemisphere."

5. Construction of the Panama Canal. Watch this documentary from PBS.

6. Panama Canal Treaty: Giving back the canal to the people of Panama.

Activity: Mola Designs

The teens like coloring. What can I say? Here's a page about Mola designs, an indigenous art form in Panama. And here's the book I bought for them to color. When they do their memory work. Because it helps the brains.


"My Country" by Ricardo Miro


Time: 20 Minutes
Length: 1 Page.

Using specific details from the videos you watched, write an essay arguing that the construction of the Panama Canal improved life for the people of Panama. You can talk about building villages, controlling mosquitoes, creating jobs, introducing new technology, or whatever you think makes a strong argument. You will need to ignore some facts and arguments in order to focus only on the details and bits of information that support your thesis.

Pre-writing planning time: Think about your essay in terms of problems and solutions. In order to present the solutions, you have to explain the problem. So you'll need two paragraphs for each one of the problems you say the Panama Canal solved. Look at your blank page and think of how much space you'll need to make each of your points, and try to write within those limits.

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