January 16, 2017

Algebra, Computation/Calculation, Economics, Graphs, Charts, Data Collection and More!

Applicable at Elementary and Secondary levels with adaptations.

Choose unique and engaging math lessons that help build basic math skills and encourage students to think mathematically.  The lessons are aligned to the standards.  We’ve got something for every grade level!  

(This section of the site is under construction.  We are in the process of adding lessons and activities.  Check back soon!)

The Common Core Standards: (Resource:  http://www.corestandards.org/Math/Practice )

*Please note:  Lessons are applicable to any race, any year.



Iditarod, Algebra, and Technology by Mary

Mary in Virgina is an educator exemplifying technology use with students, as conveyed in her email and demonstrated through the student work sample which shows the student’s self reflection on the Iditarod projects.  Mary shares her lesson ideas in this article.

Learn more at this link.


Computation:  Calculation


Iditarod Word Problems Designed for Grade 6, 7, and 8 By Martha Dobson

This is a review of math skills for each grade level. The problems contain factual data which shows students how math can be used in the real world. The problems can be used as extra credit opportunities or the problem of the day which provides an independent assignment for students to begin upon arrival in class.

Lesson Plan and Math Questions


Iditarod Story Problems by Finney, (Andrea Auf der Heyde)

These 30 story problems are geared for elementary level but through adaptations can be used at other grade levels.  Story Problems.


Daily Math Challenge:  Idita- Math Competition By Jared Cochran

Jarad’s daily math contest consists of 5 math problems, in which students have 5 minutes to try and finish.  Every question they answer correctly moves their musher 2 miles on the trail. the ‘mushers/students’ progress is charted on a giant 8 foot by 5 foot map of the Iditarod trail by moving a little musher.  The ultimate goal is for the teams to move their musher the entire 1049 miles of the Iditarod trail.  Idita-Math Challenge Project Document


Women of the Iditarod: A Journey Through Data by Sally Simon

Students will learn to isolate data with a specific purpose and use that data in a variety of ways including calculating percentages, graphing and analyzing the data for a particular audience.  Students will correctly gather data with a specific purpose, use data to calculate percentage, present data in graph form, and write an analysis of the data for a specific audience.  Grades 5 and up.

Lesson Plan

Video to Use with This Lesson

Walk a Mile in My Shoes (Math/Science Lesson) by Sally Simon

After learning about snow shoes and the role they could play to someone’s survival, students will calculate the surface area of their foot, measure their body weight and calculate psi (pounds per square centimeter)  Students will learn to make emergency snowshoes.  Grades 5-8,  H.S. Physics (extension), and grades 2-4 (extensions)

Lesson Plan




Wilderness Trading Activity and Lesson by Sally Simon

Students learn that all humans have 5 needs (food, clothing, shelter, clear air, and water) that must be met before the things they want.  After discussing the concept and practice of “trading,” students participate in a trading activity where they trade items they have with those things they need and want in order to survive in the Alaskan wilderness.  At the end of the activity, students evaluate what items they have and predict how well they will survive with those items.  Math/Social Studies lesson geared for 2nd grade on up.

Lesson Plan


Excel Spreadsheet: (Math/Technology)


Ryan’s Dog Expenses By Susan Flahave

Using their knowledge of Excel, students will construct an excel spreadsheet with the information provided on the handout. Although this lesson was constructed to use in the 2006 race, this assignment can be used for any race, any year, and be adapted for use with any  musher.  Grade level 7th, Middle School, can be adapted for upper  elementary or high school.

Lesson Plan


Graphs, Charts, Data Collection, Analysis of Data


How Cold is It? Graphing Lesson by Martha Dobson

Students will accurately plot temperature lows on a graph using dates and temperatures. Students will connect each location’s temperature to create a line graph, creating a 3-line graph, and write a summary of the data. 5th to 8th Grade

Lesson Plan




Altitudes and Temperatures By Sally Simon

Students use the altitudes of the checkpoints on the Iditarod Trail to calculate the differences (positive and negative) in altitude while running the race.  Students use some average temperatures (highs and lows) of the checkpoints during March to calculate the differences in temperature, and draw some conclusions about how the geography of the trail affects temperature.  Grades 5 – 8

Lesson Plan


Mean, Median, Mode, and Range – Measures of Central Tendency and Dispersion


Iditarod Dogs Count By Dean Barron

Interesting data enables students to painlessly learn mean, median, mode, and range.  Typically, for a university class of 25 students, the lesson requires under 15 minutes; the exercise is intended to be repeated several times over the course of the Iditarod dog sled race.  Sample table, calculations, and exam question attached. Undergraduate; Grades 6 through 12

Lesson Plan






Measuring an Iditarod Sled Dog

Measurement – Using non-standard and standard measurements for length, volume, weight, and time, using customary and metric units (Appropriate, with adaptations, for Kindergarten through 5th grade) Lesson by Deanna Blazejewski

Lesson Plan and Additional Information


Animal Weights and Measures:   Area (or easily adapted to only use Length) – Sled Dog Footprint (adapted from Audubon Zoo workshop)

Skills: Number sense, estimation, standard and non-standard area, polygon shapes, problem solving, graphing, and multiplication/division.  Literature connection: Measuring Penny by Loreen Leedy (focus on part where dog paw prints widths are being measured)   (Optional: If choose to only do length of footprint versus paw print, could use How Big is a Foot? by Rolf Myller.)  Lesson could be used at any grade level with adaptations.

 Lesson Plan and Additional Information




Iditarod Pie:  PI:  (March) 3:14  Lesson by Annalise Lecher. 

This activity was done with4th Grade accelerated math class.  Students created an example of the Iditarod Trail in circular form.



Activities and Tips for Educators Teaching Math


Create Math Lessons and Activities – Behind the Scenes, Meet Volunteers, By Sally Simon

Lesson and project ideas can be found at this link.  


Pick a Standard.  Create a Math Lesson by Deanna Blazejewski, Alaska

View a PDF documents showing how Alaska educator, Deanna Blazejewski, Special Education Teacher from Mount Iliamna Elementary is creating math lessons for students.

Click here for information: The Iditarod Math Trail

Math and Science Game:  Grade Level: 

Upper Elementary, Middle School and beyond.  (Math and Science Formulas)  View the research information and play the game!

Math and Science Activity Packet

Create an Iditarod Trail, design a catapult, work with maps, play a math-science game, and complete other activities.  Applicable to any grade level.

Iditarod Math Game by Piper Jones, Alaska


Strengthening Math Skills:  Tips and Tools

Are your students strengthening their skills in addition, multiplication, or perhaps estimation? Why not practice those skills using the data at the IditaRider Musher Auction section of the website.  Learn more at this link.  

Building Math Skills:  Fractions, Measurement, Decimals, and More! 

Activities and lessons from that build math skills in 4th and 5th Grade but can be adapted for other grade levels from Beth in Georgia.  Beth uses a wide variety of activities to strengthen math skills.  Learn more at this link.