Curriculum for the Classroom

Language Arts: ABC Books

Creating an ABC book is an excellent way to combine research, writing, and technology skills. Each year, hundreds of teachers assign students  to create ABC books about Alaska and/or the Iditarod.  We’ll share student made ABC books with other teachers and schools.  Send them to djohnson@iditarod.com View the ABC book by Nicole (PowerPoint)


Olivia’s Story–Homophone Practice

This story, written by Terrie Hanke, 2006 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail, is an example of incorporating the Iditarod with homophone practice.


Character & Citizenship

Touring schools in Alaska and telling them about the Last Great Race has kept me busy most of this week. I’ve been traveling with the 2014 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail™, Jen Reiter. Each of the schools in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District has a motto chosen to inspire and direct students. They are really …


Blankets for Dogs – A Service Learning Project to Wrap Around the Dogs

 Dogs in Blankets…  In Style and Cozy…   What’s cozy, on a bed of straw, and covered with a colorful fleece blanket?  A sled dog!  What else? When you think of sled dogs, you might not think about sled dogs being covered up with blankets.  After all, the dogs of the Iditarod  each wear their …


Go Out and Get Creative: An Art Tutorial with Host, Jon Van Zyle

Jon Van Zyle, Official Artist for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, shares a tutorial for your students to encourage your students to have fun and create their own masterpieces! In this first in our series of art tutorials, you’ll meet Jon Van Zyle, an artist who lives in Alaska.  As the Official Artist for …


Service Learning Opportunity–Blankets for Dogs

by Martha Dobson, Iditarod Educational Consultant Educators, here’s a service learning project for your students. Make fleece dog blankets for the Iditarod race checkpoints to use. When mushers decide that a dog on their team should stay at a checkpoint instead of continuing on, the dog is under the care of the volunteer vets.  These …


Digital Story Writing

by Martha Dobson, Iditarod Educational Consultant Your students can write nonfiction or fiction using technology. Their stories let you assess their mastery of skills such as sequencing, descriptive language, punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and at higher levels, assessment of synthesis and application skills. Digital story writing works for elementary through secondary levels, with the products reflecting …


Newspaper Article Reading and Analysis

by Martha Dobson, Iditarod Educational Consultant Try this lesson plan and article for middle graders to work on reading newspaper articles and analyzing them. Students also have the opportunity to write personal responses, learn vocabulary, practice identifying and explaining figurative language, use context clues, and complete short answer paragraphs. This article appeared in The Charlotte …


Nonfiction Reading–Biography of Susan Butcher

by Martha Dobson, Educational Consultant Susan Butcher. You can’t talk about the Iditarod without talking about her. Your students will learn about her in this biography selection you can find in Champions: Ten Remarkable Athletes, by Bill Littlefield. The essay also appears in the Prentice Hall Literature Library book titled Biography and Autobiography, ©2000.   …


Idita-Read™ Project – Students Read Along the Trail

Race to Nome on a Reading Challenge! Like students around the globe, these students from Wisconsin participated in a classroom reading challenge during the 2013 Iditarod. An IditaRead™is a reading project that challenges students to read more books.  IditaReads™ are often held during the Iditarod, but some schools opt to use a longer period of …