The summer was sure a busy one here at the kennels…new things were built, repairs made, and best of all, new puppies! It is exciting to watch the little ones as they acclimate to their new surroundings, sounds, and people who will be their lifeline as they mature. It made me think about your role as a classroom teacher.
I am sure you have been deeply involved in starting the new school year! So many things to do in preparation for your students and classroom…deciding how to arrange your room, where to sit students and who should sit by who, learning about each student and their particular learning styles, etc. Just what I see happening at the kennels!
Once the students are in your room, spending some time acclimating them to their new surroundings and routines will be a priority for you. The process and activities you choose to accomplish that task are very much a part of the Social Studies strand, Geography. So, why not take this month and also focus on Geography with your students as it relates to the Iditarod?
Here are a few ideas and resources to get you started.
- “Where is Alaska?”: Just as you will let students know where their school and classroom is located, make sure you discuss the location of Alaska in comparison to your country, state, city, etc. Check out its terrain, mountains, climate, population, and much more. Where is Anchorage? Nome? Wasilla? The Alaskan Range? Blueberry Hills?
- “Get to Know Alaska and the Iditarod: Lessons in Geography, History and Social Studies” by Linda Fenton (2013 Teacher on the Trail™): Check this Social Studies packet out for lesson ideas on map scale, National Geographic Tabletop Map, Physical Maps, Mapping Your Own Race, etc.
- Iditarod Daily Grammar Practice Sentences: The focus for many of these daily sentences is geographical information about Alaska – pick and choose what you can use.
- Download, Print & Use These Maps With Students: Map work that introduces students to the Iditarod Trail Map, Northern and Southern Route Maps, Alaska & Other State Maps, Maps to Purchase, and Creating Maps
- Traveling Quilt Project: read how a quilt from Iditarod Education can be a part of your classroom at http://iditarod.com/edu/iditarod-quilt-project/; use the quilt to reinforce geographical concepts and map out the route the quilt will take as it visits schools across the country. A sample of this can be found in Sanka W. Dog’s article, “Quilts Hit the Trail” .
- Virtual Trail Journey: Use this resource to introduce students to the various checkpoints of the Iditarod race and their geographical locations.
Enjoy your geographical exploration of Alaska and the Iditarod Dog Sled Race!
~Sled Dog Ed