Author: Jen Reiter (83 posts)


If You Mush Know: Happy Feet!

This month’s question comes from….. Aarav What does it mean when a musher says a dog has “good feet?” Do only dogs with bad feet wear booties? Happy Feet A musher is a coach choosing his or her team and beginning to prepare the dogs to perform at their best. The dogs will be running …

Primary Source of the Month: October

Using the Source With Students: Display the map for the students and have them share what they See, Think, and Wonder about the object. This is the modern race map and the one that students are most familiar with seeing when they are tracking their mushers. Tell the students that this map was not always …

Primary Source of the Month: September

Welcome back to another year exploring Iditarod Themed Primary Sources. Using historic photos and objects is a wonderful way to have students use critical thinking and observation skills as they try to understand what they are seeing and what it can teach us about history. In honor of the 50th running of the race, each …

If You Mush Know: Time to Harness Up and Train

This month’s question comes from…. Teddy What does it mean when the mushers say they are in “fall training?” Time to Harness Up and Train A chill is in the morning air, fog swirls as the morning sun rises, and an extra bounce is in the dogs as they sense the change in seasons. It …

Second Annual Trail Mail Art Contest Open!

Attention 5th – 12th Grade Artists,  Teachers, & Parents: We have a special art contest just for you & your students! We are thrilled to announce our second annual student art contest to create the 2022 50th Anniversary Iditarod Trail Mail judged by official Iditarod artist Jon Van Zyle and artist Jona Van Zyle. What …

Join Us: 2022-2023 Iditarod Post Card Challenge

We are looking for classes or homeschool families from several states to round out our fourth annual Iditarod Postcard Challenge! If you join the project, you are committing to sending postcards to each class on the list between the start of school and when the first musher leaves the Iditarod starting line on the first …

2014 Teacher on the Trail Jen Reiter’s Most Memorable Moment

Every teacher who has served as the Iditarod Teacher on the Trail has the same reaction to the question, “Share your most memorable moment from the trail.” The reaction? An immediate sigh followed by an utter feeling of defeat as you know you will never be able to do your journey justice with one memorable …

Primary Source of the Month: May

The idea of awarding a red lantern to the final finisher in a dog race apparently got its start during the Fur Rendezvous races in 1953 as a joke. When the the Iditarod came into existence, the tradition continued. The award has come to represent the preservation and grit needed to finish the race. The …

Sled Dogs in the Classroom: Wrap Up the Year With a Cooperative Project

This winter looked a little different in downtown Anchorage than it normally does. With the Covid restrictions that were in place, sled dogs were not seen downtown taking off from Fourth Avenue for the start of the Fur Rendezvous or the Iditarod Ceremonial Start in March as they traditionally do. As a way to keep …

If You “Mush” Know: Summer Diets

This month’s question comes from….. Abby What do the dogs eat in the summer? Is it different than during the racing season?   What is on the menu for sled dogs? What a sled dog eats is very important to their performance year round.The dogs’ diet affects their overall health, muscle development, and ability to …