Everything you need to understand or teach The Path Between the Seas by David McCullough.
The Path Between the Seas combines a wealth of detail on politics, economics, medicine and engineering in showing how a handful of remarkable Frenchmen and Americans direct masses of Caribbean workers in joining the Atlantic and Pacific oceans at Panama.
The United States shows interest in a navigable connection between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans from the days of Thomas Jefferson, negotiates access to the Isthmus of Panama with Columbia (the Bidlack Treaty, 1846) and builds a small Panama Railroad, just as fast transportation to the West Coast becomes crucial during the Gold Rush. Various routes across Panama, Nicaragua and Mexico are put forth, but no systematic surveying is undertaken before 1870, when the Navy Department commissions several missions, most notably the Darien Expedition, led by Thomas Oliver Selfridge.
Ferdinand de Lesseps steps in, fresh from his victory over the deserts of Egypt, joining the Mediterranean and Red Seas, the...
The Path Between the Seas Lesson Plans contain 197 pages of teaching material, including: