Geographically Iditarod!


Sled Dog Ed

Howdy Teachers!

The summer was sure a busy one here at the kennels…new things were built, repairs made, and best of all, new puppies!  It is exciting to watch the little ones as they acclimate to their new surroundings, sounds, and people who will be their lifeline as they mature. It made me think about your role as a classroom teacher.

I am sure you have been deeply involved in starting the new school year!  So many things to do in preparation for your students and classroom…deciding how to arrange your room, where to sit students and who should sit by who, learning about each student and their particular learning styles, etc.  Just what I see happening at the kennels!

Deciding locations of dogs on Matt Failor’s team at 17th-Dog Kennel, 2017

Once the students are in your room, spending some time acclimating them to their new surroundings and routines will be a priority for you.  The process and activities you choose to accomplish that task are very much a part of the Social Studies strand, Geography. So, why not take this month and also focus on Geography with your students as it relates to the Iditarod?  

Here are a few ideas and resources to get you started.

  • “Where is Alaska?”: Just as you will let students know where their school and classroom is located, make sure you discuss the location of Alaska in comparison to your country, state, city, etc. Check out its terrain, mountains, climate, population, and much more. Where is Anchorage? Nome? Wasilla? The Alaskan Range? Blueberry Hills?
  • Traveling Quilt Project: read how a quilt from Iditarod Education can be a part of your classroom at; use the quilt to reinforce geographical concepts and map out the route the quilt will take as it visits schools across the country. A sample of this can be found in Sanka W. Dog’s article, “Quilts Hit the Trail” .
  • Virtual Trail Journey: Use this resource to introduce students to the various checkpoints of the Iditarod race and their geographical locations. 

Part of the Chugach Mountains near Anchorage

Enjoy your geographical exploration of Alaska and the Iditarod Dog Sled Race! 

~Sled Dog Ed