Before there was a Panama Canal ships travelling from Boston to Seattle sailed all the way around South America. The same was true for ships sailing between Europe and Asia. After the canal was completed, voyages that took months are now completed in weeks, or even days.
Understanding the Panama Canal Routes
- Add the names of the continents to the map. At:
- North America
- South America
- Add the names of the oceans to the map. At:
- North Pacific
- South Pacific
- North Atlantic
- South Pacific
- From Lisbon, Portugal to Sydney, Australia through the Straits of Magellan:
- Draw a straight solid line from Lisbon to the Straits of Magellan. Write 7,500 miles on the line.
- Draw a straight solid line from the Straits of Magellan to Sydney. Write 6,893 miles on the line.
- Add the two figures. What is the total? _______________miles.
- From Lisbon, Portugal to Sydney, Australia through the Panama Canal:
- Draw a straight solid line from Lisbon to the Panama Canal. Write 5,433 miles on the line.
- Draw a solid straight line from the Panama Canal to Sydney. Write 5,462 miles on the line.
- Add the two figures. What is the total?
- How many miles are saved by going from Lisbon to Sydney through the Panama Canal when compared to sailing around South America? ___________________miles.
- From New York, NY to San Francisco, CL:
The dotted lines on the map show the routes of travel from New York to San Francisco. The number of miles for each are also shown on the lines.
What is the saving in miles when the Panama Canal route is taken? ___________________miles.
- 7. Air distances between places are usually much shorter than land or sea distances. The air distance New York to San Francisco is 2,572 miles. How many miles less is this than the sea distance from New York to San Francisco through the canal? _____ miles. The Panama Canal is not a big "ditch" connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific Oceans. There are mountains between the oceans that the ships must climb and descend. The ships do this by entering a series of locks which help to raise the ship to the next level in the canal by pumping water to and from a locked port in the canal.