Reading

Practicing Reading Skills with Iditarod Photos

Photos are a great way to introduce students to reading skills they may be unfamiliar with or need extra practice with prior to using more complicated texts. Moving from photos, to short passages, to longer texts allows students to have a chance to refine their skills and build their confidence.  The Iditarod is fortunate to …

5 Lessons and Ideas to Kick Off Your Iditarod Unit

Every year, the Iditarod captivates students on a national and international scale. And, thinking about the many ways that the Iditarod can be integrated into the classroom, it is not surprising that students love learning about The Last Great Race®. More often than not, students are immediately hooked due to their love of dogs and …

An Animal Encounter

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 …

Book Unit: Painter and Ugly – Junior Iditarod and a Study of Friendship Among Competitors

Grades 1-4 – Others with modifications   For many, the real kickoff to Iditarod Race time is the Junior Iditarod. Introducing the Junior Iditarod to students is a great way to jump start their enthusiasm, as it is sometimes easier for them to relate to the junior mushers who are closer to their own age. …

Book Study: Diamond Willow – A Novel in Poetry

Grades 5-8 (Lessons could be adapted for other levels) Diamond Willow is a young Alaskan girl of Athabaskan and European descent who wants nothing more than to be allowed to mush her team of dogs alone to her grandparents’ house.  When her first solo trip results in a horrible accident that blinds her family’s favorite …

Compare and Contrast: Two Great Races

Two great races, the Yukon Quest and the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race™, are the basis for this compare/contrast article for middle school students.Higher order thinking skills get exercised and flexed in this lesson. It’s also a good article for adult readers to use to see how these races are similar and different and how …

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 …

Giving a Hero His Due by Kate Klimo

Dog Diaries #4: Togo by Kate Klimo is a fantastic story of Togo who, according to many historians, should get the most credit for the success of the 1925 Serum Run into Nome.  Balto was the lead dog who carried the serum into town, but Togo was the lead for the longest leg of the relay, almost …

Newspaper Article Reading and Analysis

  Try this lesson plan and article for middle graders to work on reading newspaper articles and analyzing them. Students also have the opportunity to write personal responses, learn vocabulary, practice identifying and explaining figurative language, use context clues, and complete short answer paragraphs. This article appeared in The Charlotte Observer newspaper in Charlotte, NC. …

Granite & Susan Butcher – Hero & Heroine

When speaking of Granite one has to mention Susan, when speaking of Susan one has to include Granite. Without Susan, Granite might have become a house pet. Without Granite, Susan might have been just an ordinary musher. Together they accomplished remarkable feats. That’s why they have both been named to the Just Guts Heroes, Heroines …