Students will actively participate in research and discussions about the Iditarod.
Students will learn to record and sort data within a spreadsheet.
Access to the Internet
Paper and pencils
Excel, Microsoft Works, or Claris Works type of spreadsheet
Iditarod Classroom Information Packet, by Iditarod Trail Committee, Inc, Wasilla, Alaska
&/or http://alaska.alaskan.com/~Iditarod Iditarod Committee Web Site
Wall space for display
Suggested books for class library and oral reading:
The First Dog, by Jan Brett
Iditarod Country: Exploring the Route of the Last Great Race, by Tracia Brown & Jeff
Working Dogs: Sled Dogs, by Phylis Raybin Emert
Kiana's Iditarod, by Shelley Gill
Alaska, by Mallard Press
Dogteam by Gary Paulsen
The Bravest Dog Ever, The True Story of Balto, by Natalie Sandiford
Mush! Across Alaska in the World's Longest Sled-Dog Race, by Patricia Seibert
Dashing Through the Snow: The Story of the Jr, Iditarod, by Sherry Shahan
Iditarod Dream: Dusty and his Sled Dogs Compete in Alaska's Jr. Iditarod, by Ted Wolf
Part 1: ALASKA (30-40 minute in lab)
Use The Alaskan Center web site http://alaskan.com to find and print a map of Alaska, what the
cities look like, the cost to travel there, if there is “always snow” and any other information that
comes up as interesting for the class to discuss.
Part 2: PRE-RACE (40 minutes in class or in the lab)
Discuss the history of the origins of the Iditarod, “The Last Great Race on Earth.” Review
the “serum run” that included Balto during 1925.
View the Iditarod Committee Web Site http://alaska.alaskan.com/~Iditarod prior to the
Iditarod to learn about:
Northern and Southern Route
The cost and preparation for the race
The check points, distances and the trail
The prize money “purse”
The “Red Lantern” and other “special awards”
Part 3: Optional (In classroom)
If the Iditarod Classroom Information Packet is available (created by the Iditarod Trail
Committee, Inc), teachers will find: games, puzzles, fill in the blank, math activities, Musher
lingo, and coloring sheets in the back of the book. A large portion of the guide is within the
Iditarod Committee web site http://alaska.alaskan.com/~Iditarod, however many games and
activities are not on their home page.
Part 4: The Mushers
Obtain the Musher’s “Biographical Information” from the Iditarod Committee web site or the
Classroom Information Packet. Have students look through the musher’s names, photos and
bios to find one they would like to “sponsor.”
Students will each choose a different racer and receive a printed copy of his/her bio, race
record and photograph.
Find if any of these mushers have email addresses listed. If so, students write email to “their
musher.” For those students who don’t have a musher’s email address, they will partner with
one that does and they will work together to send email.
Part 5: The News
Students take turns daily to check a Newspaper (USA Today) online or America On Line’s
“keyword” Iditarod to find and print the daily news articles and journal entries. Print the
articles and students will take turns reading these orally (depending on grade level).
Part 6: Race Spreadsheet
As a class, create a spreadsheet: the columns should include
Student Name, Musher Name, Bib Number, Race dates in each column. ie:
Student Musher Bib# Mar4 Mar5 Mar6 Mar7 Mar8 Mar9
Dontiez Charlie Boulding 3 4 30 24 25 22 9
Jeremy Peryll Kyzer 29 16 27 2 12 12 10
Aalim David Sawatzky 35 20 15 28 8 10 11
Check the race results daily on the Iditarod Race updates
http://alaska.alaskan.com/~Iditarod/raceinfo.html The first time, show the students how to
read the results and to record the daily results on the class spreadsheet. Sort the results by
the daily standings and post them on the board. Beyond the first day, have the students take
turns checking the daily results, updating the spreadsheet, sorting and printing the results.
With the results from the daily postings, find the checkpoints the leader has passed and mark
it on the bulletin board. One suggestion is to hang the names and distances for each
checkpoint and add an arrow to point to the next checkpoint the teams are approaching.
After following the full race, hold an awards ceremony. Award the certificates with proper
amount of money to each “sponsor” of the Iditarod award winners.
1. Students will be evaluated as they participate in the discussion and research activities.
Throughout the set of lessons each child will competently answer questions regarding the
2. Students will be able to type basic information into a spreadsheet and sort the data.