Language Arts

Book Unit: Painter and Ugly – Junior Iditarod and a Study of Friendship Among Competitors

Grades 1-4 – Others with modifications   For many, the real kickoff to Iditarod Race time is the Junior Iditarod. Introducing the Junior Iditarod to students is a great way to jump start their enthusiasm, as it is sometimes easier for them to relate to the junior mushers who are closer to their own age. …

Book Study: Diamond Willow – A Novel in Poetry

Grades 5-8 (Lessons could be adapted for other levels) Diamond Willow is a young Alaskan girl of Athabaskan and European descent who wants nothing more than to be allowed to mush her team of dogs alone to her grandparents’ house.  When her first solo trip results in a horrible accident that blinds her family’s favorite …

Compare and Contrast: Two Great Races

Two great races, the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race™, are the basis for this compare/contrast article for middle school students.Higher order thinking skills get exercised and flexed in this lesson. It’s also a good article for adult readers to use to see how these races are similar and different and how …

Book Study: Aisling’s Quest and a Goal for Students

Grade 3 – 5 (Lessons coud be adapted to middle school students) Having a big dream and the courage to work hard to accomplish that dream is something we all want for our students.  It’s wonderful when we can share real life examples of kids who have done what we want our own students to …

Giving a Hero His Due by Kate Klimo

Dog Diaries #4: Togo by Kate Klimo is a fantastic story of Togo who, according to many historians, should get the most credit for the success of the 1925 Serum Run into Nome.  Balto was the lead dog who carried the serum into town, but Togo was the lead for the longest leg of the relay, almost …

Homophones: Sounds Alike Story about Jeff Schultz – Official Race Photographer

Here’s another story using several homophones. Can you select the correct word? Do your best to decide which homophone is correct. After you’ve given it your best shot, click here to see the correct choices.  (There-their-they’re) sat Jeff Schultz editing the (pictures-pitchers) he’d taken of mushers and (there-their-they’re) dog teams that day. Jeff is the official …

Homophones: Sounds Alike Story About Iditarod

(I – Eye) am fascinated by words that sound alike, are spelled differently and have very different meanings.  These words are called homophones.  When speaking, or barking as we sled dogs do, people and other dogs understand what we mean by context, that is considering the word along with the words used around it.  When …

Olivia’s Story–Homonym Practice

(View this lesson plan) Olivia’s Story , about a sled dog’s race, provides practice with homonyms, words (which–witch) sound alike, but have different meanings and are spelled differently. Students think about the meanings of the words in order  (to–too–two) choose the correct (one–won)   (for–four)  the context of the sentence. (There–they’re–their) is another homonym lesson …

Book Reviews–Iditarod, Tricia Brown and Dogteam, Gary Paulsen

Check this book, Iditarod™ by Tricia Brown, for nonfiction information about the historic Iditarod Trail’s role in Alaska’s Native Alaskan’s lives and the gold rush, an early dog sled race called the All Alaska Sweepstakes, the history and beginning of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race™, champs and record breakers, the dogs, and the women …

Book Reviews- Iditarod Dream & Woodsong

Two books for you to read!  The first is Iditarod Dream: Dusty and His Sled Dogs Compete in Alaska’s Jr. Iditarod. This is a photo-essay of Dusty Whittemore’s 1995 Jr. Iditarod race, his second. Written by Ted Wood, an introduction provides background information for this race for 14 to 17 year olds. Described as a  book …