get your mush on! following the iditarod sled dog race

have you ever followed the Iditarod sled dog race?
have you ever even heard of it?
I hadn't until I began teaching and our school's IT gal introduced me and I was hooked!
My fourth graders and I followed each year, but after I was moved to second grade, I put it on hold until I got situated.
Well, I am ready again!

So here's what we do. I will try not to get wordy!
1. Make a class map of Alaska and the route. Here's an example of one class's map

2. then we choose a musher {person in the race} to follow. 
I had each of my students choose their own, but with my younger students I will have each table choose one. We made little trading cards. Back in the day, my fourth graders teamed up with a younger class. They used our cards to choose their own musher.

3. The race traditionally starts on the first Saturday in March and the "official" start is the first Sunday. There is a reason behind that madness. But anywho, as we check our stats each morning of the race {this consists of students going to the computer and seeing what place their musher is in}, we do reading, math, science, and SS activities related the race and Alaska. I typically did a lesson related to the race each day for two weeks. Of course, you could also use the theme throughout the day, but I've never been a theme teaching teacher. We will be starting our weather unit this week, so it happens to work out perfectly this year.

4. there are so many great ideas and lessons I have used, want to use, and I just couldn't fit it all, ever. But, what I DID do is included in my pack. My favorite resources are the Idita-dictionary for students to fill out and illustrate, the musher journal which will really push their thinking, and the Iditaread Challenge. This was the kiddos fav. Their challenge was to read as many many as the race is miles. This year the race is 998 miles, so we have lots of reading to do! I have done individual challenges and class challenges, but as a class it took maybe 3 days!

Something new I added for second grade was themed centers for math and ELA. I am quite smitten with the result. You know what I mean! I love the graphics, color scheme, and how all the centers came out! 
I aligned these with 1-2 grade Common Core Standards so the little ones could join in on the fun! 

both files are 15% off today {Sunday night thru Monday}! Mush on! I hope this introduces you to a brand new sport and more March fun! {cause Seuss, Easter, and St. patty's Day just isn't enough!}

and don't forget my mega huge 1000 follower giveaway! Win $25 TpT gift certificate PLUS items from 15 different stores!


  1. Great post! You might want to check your post title though, unless you're talking about some sled gods ;)
    What i have learned

  2. Any chance you want to discount this again? Just for me? HEHEHE. I teach 1st grade and absolutely LOOOOOOVE teaching the Iditarod. It easily becomes my students' favorite thing!!
    marcy.colwell at k12 dot us dot com


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