Iditarod Trail Team Sports and Activities

Lesson Summary:  Create checkpoints in a large outdoor area.   Each checkpoint will have a team oriented or relay type activity that will advance the team to the next checkpoint or must be completed before the team can move to the next checkpoint.  Iditarod Trail can be scaled to take only 1 period of Physical Education or can be used as a multi-class activity taking a longer period of time.  See Other Information and Notes.  For a large-scale activity, ask parents to volunteer as checkpoint worker.

Procedural Activities:  Divide class into teams of 4 to 6.  Cones with instructions are set up approximately 25 – 50 yards apart around the track or a football field to represent checkpoints.  Ideas for 15 checkpoint events are listed.  Select activities that lend themselves to the climate, time available and physical setting.  Have a checker (parent volunteer), at each checkpoint to organize the students and explain the activity

Husky Hop – The team will do the “Bunny Hop” from their current checkpoint to the next checkpoint.  After each segment of right-right, left-left, front-back, hop-hop-hop-hop the leader must go to the back of the team to become the musher.

Paw Pass – The team will pass a basketball overhead and between legs alternately going from musher to lead dog and back.  As soon as the lead dog has received the ball and reversed it, he or she will got to the back of the team to become the musher.  After each student has been the musher, the team jogs to the next checkpoint.

Bootie Brigade – The musher will put a large sock (booties) on each hand then sprint 25 years and return passing the socks to the next musher who puts the socks on and does the same.  When the last musher has returned and removes the socks, the team jogs to the next checkpoint.

Yukon Volley – Team members split in half and form single file lines on each side of a football goal post.  A beach ball is passed over the goal post.  After each volley, the front person goes to the back of the line and the next person is responsible for the next volley.  Count volleys until the team reaches 26 then jog to the next checkpoint.

Rawhide Relay – With a rawhide chew or bone in hand, each team member runs a distance of 25 yards from the checkpoint cone and returns passing the rawhide to the next runner.  After all team members have relayed the rawhide, the team jogs to the next checkpoint.

Team Trot – All members of the team stand side-by-side, hook elbows and jog to the next checkpoint.

Toggle Toss – The team splits, half standing on one side of a goal post.  A football is passed back and forth over the goal post from one end of the line to the other.  The passing initiates with the musher.  When the lead dog (last person) receives the ball, he/she runs the ball back to the other end of the line, becomes the musher and begins the passing again.  When each student has been the musher, the team jogs to the next checkpoint.

Sled Relay – This is the old “wheel barrow” race.  One student acts as the musher for the sled.  The sled is a student who walks on his/her hands to a to a cone about 5 yards from the starting point while the musher supports his/her feet. Then the musher and sled return to the start, the sled becomes the musher and takes a “new” sled out and around the cone.  After all the students have been mushers and sleds the team jogs to the next checkpoint.

Back Rub – One at a time, students do the crab walk out to a cone that’s 6 or 7 yards from the checkpoint.  When reaching the cone, the student lies on his/her back and traces the alphabet in the air with either foot.  Upon completing the 26 letters, the student crab walks back to the start.  The next student does the same.  Once all students have completed the task, the team jogs to the next checkpoint.

Chin Scratch – The musher inflates a balloon and tucks it under his/her chin.  The balloon is passed from the musher to each team member without using hands until the lead dog receives the balloon.  With the balloon tucked under its chin, the lead dog goes to the opposite and of the line and becomes the musher.  After all students have been the musher, the team jogs to the next checkpoint.  A tennis ball can be used instead of a balloon.

Leap Husky – This is nothing more than the old game of Leap Frog.  Team members crouch down on hands and knees with the space of one person between each team member.  The musher places his/her hands on the shoulders of the wheel dog and vaults over each person in succession until clearing the lead dog.   As the musher clears the lead dog, he/she calls out a predetermined signal to let the new musher know he/she should begin.  Each team should decide on the signal to begin and hopefully teams won’t pick to same signal.

Husky Shuttle – Teams select a musher who shuttles all the huskies to the halfway point between two checkpoints.  The musher does this by hooking arms with one husky and running with that husky to the halfway point.  The husky remains at the half way point but the musher returns for the second husky.  After all the huskies are at the halfway point, a new musher takes over and shuttles the huskies to next checkpoint in the same fashion.

Dalzell Gorge – Each team member has to dribble a soccer ball around cones six cones.  Upon reaching the last cone, the ball is drop kicked back to the team where the next team member does the same as the first.  When all team members have reached the far end of the cones, the process is repeated to return the ball to the checkpoint.

EEG WAH – All members of the team jog backwards to the next checkpoint.

Farewell Burn – Four cones are spaced about 8 yards apart from the checkpoint.  The team selects a musher who stands at the back of the team.  Team members place hands on the shoulders of the person in front.  As the team approaches a cone, the musher gives the command for passing on either the right or left.  Upon reaching the last cone the musher gives a command to turn around and returns to the starting cone.  Each team member gets to be the musher and take the team through the Farwell Burn.

Sprint to Nome – The team will sprint to the last checkpoint.


View the Lesson Plan Here!