Lesson of the Day: ‘Suez Canal Blocked After Giant Container Ship Gets Stuck’

Lesson of the Day: ‘Suez Canal Blocked After Giant Container Ship Gets Stuck’

6. What is your reaction to the article? Are you surprised that one ship (albeit, a very large one) could disrupt the flow of international trade? What do the events of the past week say about the interconnectedness and precariousness of our global trade system? What questions do you still have about the grounded ship and the efforts to free it? From what you learned, how hard will it be to free the Ever Given?

Option 1: Learn more about the Suez Canal and its role in the global economy.

What more do you want to learn about the Ever Given, the Suez Canal or global trade? What questions do you still have about the current situation? For instance, why does the Suez Canal play such a pivotal role in world trade? What are the costs of closing of one of the world’s most vital maritime arteries? What alternate routes will ships have to take if they cannot go through the 150-year-old canal? How have other large ships that have run ashore been freed?

You can keep up with the unfolding story in the Suez Canal by reading Live Updates or one of these articles from The Times’s extensive coverage:

Why the Suez Canal Is So Important

With the Suez Canal Blocked, Shippers Go Around Africa

In Suez Canal, Stuck Ship Is a Warning About Excessive Globalization

How Giant Ships Are Built

How did reading more on this topic add to your understanding? Did it change your perspective on the featured article? Share three takeaways from what you learned with your class.

Option 2: Offer a rescue solution for the Ever Given.

With the ship stretching about 1,300 feet long and weighing around 200,000 metric tons, dislodging the Ever Given has proved challenging. How was it eventually freed? The Times reports:

Together, the armada of tugboats — their engines churning with the combined power of tens of thousands of horses — have been pushing and pulling at the Ever Given for days.

Then, before dawn on Monday, the ship broke free from the shore and was partially refloated — a moment both shipping and Egyptian officials hoped marked the beginning of the end of the saga.

Once fully afloat, the ship can be easily controlled by tugboats and safely pushed out of the way.

Read the entire article detailing the rescue efforts, then tell us your reaction. What aspects of the efforts do you find most fascinating, surprising or memorable?

Over the past six days, as the ship remained stuck in the canal, people across the globe offered their own solutions. If you were asked by Suez Canal authorities to help free the Ever Given, what practical or out-of-the-box ideas would you recommend? Feel free to include drawings or diagrams to explain your ideas.

For inspiration, read this article in Slate or watch this video from CNN in which young children were asked what they would do to free the ship in the Suez Canal.