Chunnel Cross-Section

Chunnel Cross-Section lesson plan

Dig into this construction project in a big way! Learning about the English Channel Tunnel cuts across multiple curriculum areas.

  • 1.

    A 31 mile-long tunnel sitting in a large cavern located 150 feet under the English Channel? Sounds like science fiction. The English Channel Tunnel is authentic, however, and carries people, cars, buses, and freight on high-speed trains between Folkestone, England, and Calais, France.

  • 2.

    Research the English Channel Tunnel (called the Chunnel or Euro Tunnel) to learn more about how it was designed and constructed. Why were so many resources put into building the Chunnel? How has it affected trade and travel between England and continental Europe?

  • 3.

    Find cross-section pictures of the Chunnel. Use them as a guide to build your own replica. Here's one way you could construct a cross-section of this magnificent engineering feat. Use your own imagination to make an accurate replica of the Chunnel and the transportation routes within it.

  • 4.

    Hold a shoebox bottom lengthwise. <B>Ask an adult to help you cut</B> two opposite sides with Crayola® Scissors so a piece will lift up to form the sky.

  • 5.

    Cover your art area with newspaper. Paint the inside of the box with Crayola Tempera and Brushes. Make descending layers of blue for sky, another shade of blue for water, and brown for the ground under the English Channel. Air dry.

  • 6.

    <B>Ask an adult to help you cut</B> a cardboard tube in half with scissors. This will form the cross section of the tunnel. Trim off the top and glue the two pieces together with Crayola School Glue so they are as wide as the box. The inside (concave) of

  • 7.

    On white construction paper, draw the locomotive and the double-decker carrier wagon of Le Shuttle train with Crayola Colored Pencils. Or make a sleek Eurostar train for passengers. Color the trains with Crayola® Markers. Glue your train into the Chunnel.

  • 8.

    Find pictures of the flags of France and the United Kingdom. Draw and color them. Glue them to toothpicks. Air dry. Attach flags to the correct sides of the Chunnel.


  • Students research the use of the English Channel Tunnel and analyze its benefits for commerce, transportation, and travel.
  • Students recognize the engineering feat and mechanics of constructing the Chunnel.
  • Students demonstrate basic knowledge of how the tunnel is constructed by building a cross-section of it.


  • Use this construction as a culminating project to assess children's understanding of Europe, transportation, inventions, and geology.
  • Research the political and economic implications of the Chunnel. What arguments were made, pro and con, regarding its construction?
  • Compare the building of the Chunnel to other tunnels around the world, which go under water, cities, and mountains, such as The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel and Boston's Central Artery. Pique curiosity with questions such as theses: What challenges do engineers face? What equipment was used in their construction? How is the air kept fresh? What safety precautions are essential during their operation?