Art

Trail Mail Art Contest

Attention Middle and High School Teachers & Parents: We have a special art contest just for your students! We are thrilled to announce a student art contest to create this year’s Trail Mail judged by official Iditarod artist Jon Van Zyle and artist Jona Van Zyle. What is Trail Mail? To honor the Historic Iditarod …

The Patch!

Each year the Teacher on the Trail™ gets to create their own patch and mine has finally come in!  My patch was designed by my 4th grade student, Libby McMahon.  Libby’s design was one of 35 submitted, and it was selected as the winner by the 3rd-8th graders at Saint Andrew. Libby’s design included three important things—an …

A Husky Point of View

In my class we have been learning about the differences between perspective and point of view in our writing and in the stories we read, and how they help us understand someone’s experiences in a different and unique way.  We wanted to write about the point of view of the different participants in the Iditarod: dedicated …

Hot Cocoa With a Side of Poetry

  I have spent a great deal of time getting to know our 2016 Iditarod mushers this year.  My special focus has been to share the stories of the rookie mushers, and their personal journey to the starting line.  Like many teachers we have a poetry unit each year, but I wanted to find an Iditarod …

Painter and Ugly: Friendship at the Jr. Iditarod

  One of the special benefits of the Jr. Iditarod is that the young mushers bond with each other in a unique and lasting way.  In the woods at Yentna Station, after taking great care of their dogs for the night, they bonded over a campfire and shared trail stories.  It was remarkable to see, …

Into the Wild with Musher Monica Zappa

What do mushers see on the trail?  In art classes, the Iditarod and the study of Alaska and the Arctic have been a special project this year.  The students at Eanes Elementary School researched the geographic landscape and animals found along the trail and created amazing clay dioramas to represent what they found.   The …

20 Lucky Huskies

The Iditarod Summer Camp for Teachers is a remarkable opportunity to meet mushers at the volunteer picnic as they sign the dotted line and enter the Last Great Race on Earth®.   I had the pleasure of meeting rookie musher Mary Helwig that day.  I remember Mary casually mentioning to me that she had lost …

Iditarod S-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d Art

As the year comes to a close, we have been organizing, cleaning up, and preparing our classroom for the new year.  One of these tasks involves bringing down our 2015 Iditarod calendar from the wall.  Old calendars can be recycled into a fantastic art project I like to call “stretched art” using basic art supplies and …

The Northern Lights in a Bowl

The 2016 Iditarod class has been learning about mixtures and solutions in our science class, and I wanted to try combining our demonstrations and experiments with our amazing connection to Alaska this year. I decided to bring my fascination with the aurora borealis to class and combine it with some science magic, a good book, and a …

Parky Symmetry

What is a parky?  A parky is quite simply,  the northern term for a parka.   In the Aleutian Islands the word simply means “animal skin”.  They are longer coats with a hood, usually lined with fur.  Most are decorated with lovely fabrics and decorative trim.  I remember seeing many parkys in the winter in Alaska, and wanting …