Primary Source of the Month: October

Using the Source With Students:

  1. Display the map for the students and have them share what they See, Think, and Wonder about the object.
  2. This is the modern race map and the one that students are most familiar with seeing when they are tracking their mushers.
  3. Tell the students that this map was not always the “official” map of the race. Prior to 1977, only the Northern Route was used. As told by Zuma, this was was done to help alleviate stress on the smaller villages year after year.
  4. Share the original (1973) race map with students and allow them time to compare and contrast the two maps. Alternatively, the First Ten Years has a copy of the original map on page 94.
  5. In recent years, other alternative routes have been used as well due to weather, or like last year, as a response to the pandemic. Share with the students the Gold Trail Loop and Fairbanks Route maps and allow time for them to compare and discuss.
  6. Pose the following question to the students: “Given that this year is the 50th Running of the Iditarod, which route do you think the mushers should take and why?” Their responses could be shared in a variety of ways: as an oral response, a journal entry, or a larger written opinion piece.

Associated Resources: Other Map-Based Lesson Plans