Social Studies

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 …

Primary Source of the Month: April

Something that every Iditarod Rookie looks forward to is “earning his or her buckle.” Each Iditarod finisher is awarded a brass finisher’s belt buckle upon the completion of their first race signaling that they are a rookie no more! In the early days of the race, the Nome Kennel club wanted to do something to …

Primary Source of the Month: March

One of the iconic images of the Iditarod is the Burled Arch that stands at the end of the epic journey the teams take across the state of Alaska. But, did you know the current Burled Arch is actually the second arch in Iditarod History? Using the Source With Students: Display the historic photo above …

Primary Source of the Month: February

Primary sources are not just for Social Studies class! Here’s one that you could use as a math warmup that ties in to the ghost town of Iditarod which will play such an important role in this year’s Iditarod Race.     Using the Source With Students: Display the object for your students and have …

Get Ready to Visit Iditarod!

With the Iditarod Trail Committee announcing the historic route for the 2021 Race, The Gold Trail, all attention this year will focus on the historic town and checkpoint of Iditarod. Iditarod came into existence after the Christmas Day, 1908 gold strike on Otter Creek, a tributary of the Iditarod River. By the summer of 1909 …

Update: Send a Piece of Your Class Down the Trail!

UPDATE: The 2021 Iditarod Trail Mail has SOLD OUT! Thanks to all the participating classes! Be sure keep an eye out for next year’s announcement! We are so excited to announce our new Educational Trail Mail Project to you! This is an amazing chance for your class to send a piece of mail down the …

Primary Source of the Month: December

December ushers in holiday seasons for people all around the world. And with holiday seasons comes the big rush to the post office to mail holiday cards and packages. Do your students ever wonder how letters and packages were delivered before the creation of airplanes? Well, for many in the northern regions, mail was delivered …

Primary Source of the Month: October

Our Virtual Fall Conference this month is focused on technology as teachers around the world are pushing tech to its limits dealing with distance, hybrid, and in person learning, sometimes all at the same time! Technology used by fans, students, and teachers to follow the race has certainly grown and changed over the years. Today, …

B is for Booties down the National Historic Trails

The Iditarod Alphabet 2017 B is for Booties Thousands of dog booties are used throughout the Iditarod.  Each dog is required to wear dog booties, and a musher must keep an additional eight booties in his/her sled for each dog at all times.  Booties are used to protect their feet from being scraped up and to …