Teach and Learn

Engaging lessons based on Insider video clips.


Our four-legged correspondents write for all ages.


Collection of all things Iditarod.

     
     
    
    
    

Latest Teach and Learn Posts

Virtual Trail Journey – The Trail from Rohn to Nikolai

The trail between Rohn and Nikolai is unique and challenging.  During the clear, cold daytime the mushers can see Denali and Mt. Foraker.  Try to imagine how beautiful these peaks are around sunrise and sunset when they are brightly lit by the sun over the dark landscape below or when they are rosy pink with …

Virtual Trail Journey – Rohn

I had a question about Rainy Pass so I was really happy to see Handler come into the dog yard.  I’d taken careful notes on everything Handler told us about Rainy Pass but was confused as to how the checkpoint called Rainy Pass could be at 1,800 feet elevation but Rainy Pass is at 3,160 …

Virtual Trail Journey – Rainy Pass (Puntilla Lake)

The distance from Finger Lake to Rainy Pass Checkpoint is about 30 miles with some really tough spots along the way.  About ten miles out of Finger Lake, mushers are challenged with the Happy River Steps.  It’s one of the very technical segments of the trail that calls up the very best sled driving skills …

Virtual Trail Journey – Finger Lake

The distance from Skwentna to Finger Lake, population 2, is 40 miles.  Roughly, it’ll take four to six hours to cover the mostly uphill route although the run isn’t tough.  The teams will run on rivers, lakes, swamps and wooded areas.   Like I did, with Handler’s help, you can find out a lot about the …

Virtual Trail Journey – Skwentna

The distance from Yentna Station to the second checkpoint, Skwentna is 30 miles.  These are easy miles for the mushers and dog teams as the trail follows the Yentna River until joining the Skwentna River a couple of miles short of the checkpoint.  Most mushers find the trail easy to follow but a few take …

Virtual Trail Journey – Yentna Station

The distance from the Willow restart to the first checkpoint, Yentna Station, is 42 miles.  These are easy miles for the mushers and dog teams as most are on frozen river ice or well traveled snowmachine trails.  Most of the traffic at Yentna station goes straight on through, stopping just long enough to check in …

Virtual Trail Journey – Willow Restart

Restart?  How can a race have two starts?  This is more than I can wrap my young dog brain around!  It’s true though; Iditarod has TWO starts – the CEREMONIAL START in Anchorage and then on the following day the RESTART in Willow. Some folks refer to it as the REAL START.  Once the teams …

Virtual Trail Journey – Ceremonial Start in Anchorage

One day this fall, Handler came into the dog yard and said, “Hey big dogs, do you want to hear about Anchorage and the Ceremonial Start?”  We answered, “YES” with a loud and enthusiastic howl.  Handler sat on the roof of my doghouse and this is what she told us. On the first Saturday morning …

Virtual Trail Journey – Pronunciation and Quick Facts Southern Route

How do you say Shaktoolik?  I’m not sure if I’m saying Unalakleet correctly and how cold does it get in Unalakleet?  What about Koyuk?   I get these types of questions on a regular basis.  Seems like it might be useful to create a guide with pronunciations and pertinent information for teachers and students.  So …

Iditarod: The First Ten Years – Reading Informational Text

Following our Teacher on the Trail’s theme of the Iditarod Air Force, this month’s lesson prompt, based on the book “The First Ten Years”, is for pages 114 – 115, 117 – 118. “The History of the Early Iditarod Air Force” by Rob Stapleton. The comparison text is “Iditarod Air Force: lifeblood of the race” …