A new school year has begun to unfold and another Iditarod Sled Dog Race is on the horizon for 2021. Sled Dog Ed has been busy searching for new ways to connect the race, history, places and events for you and your students. This past year has been challenging with our world living in a pandemic, but as we sled dogs say, “Mush on!” We have a job to do… so let’s continue moving forward and adjusting to the new trail and any obstacles it may pose.
Where am I? I often ask this of myself as my nose leads me astray while romping and running in the fields near my kennel. If only I could attach a GPS to my collar that beeps and announces the following coordinates, 44.8146° N, 91.4927° W, I would always be able to get back to my “kennel sweet kennel”. Mushers have GPS devices attached to their sleds for the purpose of locating them should an emergency arise. GPS stands for Global Positioning System which makes use of the geographical lines of latitude and longitude to provide coordinates for a person’s location or a place of interest.
Students of all ages are usually motivated to learn about new places and the historical nature associated with them. Sled Dog Ed has developed an activity for students that will use geographic coordinates to identify famous places and their significance relating to Alaska or the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Students can also research any special events that are associated with each location. Accommodations can be made with this activity from using actual in-class resources to virtual resources depending upon your current teaching situation.
I have come up with ten sets of geographic coordinates for your students to research. Have them identify the name of the place and its significance and/or a special event that takes place there. Of course, you may have your students come up with more coordinates or switch the process entirely. Encourage students to look for the place and then identify its matching coordinates. Numerous options abound!
Have fun exploring!
~Sled Dog Ed