Panama Canal and Roosevelt's Big Stick Policy

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Roosevelt's Big Stick Lesson Plan

In this American imperialism lesson plan, students learn the amazing trials and triumphs of America building the Panama Canal and how it transformed America’s position in the world. Diving into Roosevelt’s Big Stick Policy, students think critically about American intervention and its role in the world.

 

Lesson Overview

Students learn the amazing trials and triumphs of America building the Panama Canal and how it transformed America’s position in the world. They learn how after defeating the Spanish, the Anti-Imperialist League argued against empire, but how Roosevelt came to office determined to strengthen America’s navy and position in the world. Students learn how after the French failed, America overcame disease, unruly terrain, and impossible odds to complete the canal. Diving into Roosevelt’s Big Stick Policy, students think critically about American intervention and its impact in the world of yesterday and tomorrow.

What Students Do

Create a map of colonies America gained during this time, the Roosevelt Corollary. Then students analyze primary source texts supportive and critical of America becoming an imperial power before creating their own brief argument.

Skill Development: Mapping, critical reading, evidence gathering, and argumentative writing.