Canal Activities & Games

Instructor: Matthew Hamel

Matt has degrees in Journalism and Business and has taught a variety of courses at high schools and universities around the world.

One of the most fascinating human innovations is the canal. This lesson includes canal-related activities and games teachers can use in the classroom.

Canals: Background Activity

Although people may not think much about them, manmade canals, or artificial waterways, can be found both in the United States and abroad. The variety of canals that exist around the world is truly amazing! From massive feats of engineering and construction like the Panama Canal to the scenic Grand Canal of Venice, this unique human invention serves many purposes. Before beginning the following activities, write the word ''Canals'' across the top of the blackboard and then ask students the following questions:

  • What is a canal? (a manmade, artificial waterway)
  • What are canals used for? (transportation)
  • What are some well-known canals? (Panama Canal, Suez Canal, and Grand Canal)

If possible, show students pictures of different canals from around the world.

Student Canal Proposal

This activity encourages students to think about how canals can improve or change an area.

  1. Divide the class into small teams.
  2. Ask the teams to think of an area in their town they believe would benefit from being turned into a series of canals.
  3. Once the teams have decided on an area, they need to create a canal conversion proposal.

The proposal should include:

  • The name of the area
  • Which roads in the area would be converted into canals
  • Why and how the area would benefit from a canal system (an increase in tourism, less traffic, etc.)
  • A top-down drawing of the area. (The drawing can be basic, but it should show the main details of the canal layout.)

Have each team present their proposal to the class. After each presentation, the class should vote to approve the proposal or not; students who vote against the proposal should give reasons for their decisions.

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