An Animal Encounter

Bear Circle

Over the summer I did a post about Alaskan animals.  I was fascinated by seeing a moose, porcupine, and bear all in one night.  After that night, I took what I saw and turned it into a language arts and science lesson. 

Along the Iditarod trail and during training a musher may encounter may different animals, including moose, bears, caribou, porcupines, bison, and more.  In Gary Paulsen’s Woodsong, we learn about three animals he encounters—moose, bears, and bison.  In this lesson students will read three non-fiction articles about these animals.  Students will summarize the information from the articles to create a mobile of their information.  This lesson can also be connected to science standards about habitats, animal traits, and food chains.   

My favorite part of this lesson is the finished product.  My students are always so proud of their animal mobile, and they are excited to show them off to anyone who walks into the classroom. 


Animal Encounters Lesson Plan
Woodsong Excerpt
Animal Encounter Reading Handouts and Circles
Informational Text Notes Handout
Animal Venn Diagram

Examples of my students’ work!

Moose Summary

Other Iditarod Teacher News:
I am Skyping with classrooms across the country!  I have enjoyed taking my students on virtual field trips over the years, so I’m excited to work with you and your students to bring the Iditarod to life in your classroom.  To find more information and sign up for a time click here– I’ve added a few new dates and times!  I will also be continuing the Iditarod Classroom Club.  To join in the fun, click here: Iditarod Classroom Club.

Join us in Chicago for a conference on  January 21– there is still time to sign up!  Speakers include Iditarod finisher Charley Bejna (via Skype), local musher Pat Moon, and 2017 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail (along with a few other Teacher on the Trail alumni).  Click here for more information.

You can also join us in ALASKA!  The 2017 Winter Conference will be held February 28-March 3 in Anchorage, AK with the theme of “Making Sense of Problems and Persevering Through Them”.  Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from strong educators, and from the mushers themselves.  For more information on this conference click here.