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 do, and the true story Eye on Iditarod: Aisling’s Quest provides just that opportunity.  Author Hope Irvin Marston brings us the story of Aisling (pronounced “Ashley”) who at the time of the book is just wrapping up her junior mushing career and making the transition to the senior division, all the while keeping her eye on her prize – the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.  Aisling has to overcome several obstacles in her way including childhood surgeries on her eyes, the struggles of mastering her sport, and the loss of her favorite dog.  But through it all, her determination wins out and she serves as a role model for kids who are reaching for a goal that seems so far away.

I think the biggest lesson that can come from a study of this book is the idea of setting a huge, long term goal and then making smaller step by step goals as you strive to achieve your big wish.  The book also is a great way to introduce kids to the idea of pet ownership and what is entailed in taking care of one pet, not to mention a full kennel of dogs!  It is also a good introduction to the workings of a sled dog team and the strategies behind races.  The back of the book includes several pages of reference information that would be helpful for students and teachers alike.


Share the book trailer with your students:

Aisling’s Quest Unit Plan