Friday, March 5, 2010

Learning About the Iditarod Sled Dog Race

The Iditarod sled dog race across Alaska starts tomorrow. The Iditarod presents teaching opportunities as it engages some students through adventure and other students through their interest dogs. I've compiled a short list of resources for teaching about the Iditarod.













Image credit: Flickr user
ra64


The Official Iditarod website is probably the best place to start looking for teaching resources. The Teacher's Resource page of the Official Iditarod website has 15 lesson plans and activities for classroom use. The Learn About page of the Iditarod website has some good background information about the race including lists of past winners, profiles of past winners, a photo gallery, and a glossary of musher (racer) terminology.

For your students who are interested in learning about the dogs used to pull the sleds over the 1100 mile Iditarod course, the American Kennel Club is a good place to find information about Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies.

The From Alaska Educational Program has five pre-made units of study about mushing (dog sledding). Each unit has articles, images, and quizzes about mushing. Three of the units also include video and audio clips.

The Discovery Channel offers 26 video clips related to the Iditarod race. The clips cover information about the dogs, the mushers, the sleds, and the history of the race.

In 2009 some folks at the University of Alaska produced a Google Earth tour of the race. You can open that tour by clicking here. The 2009 tour could be used as a model for having your students create a Google Maps or Google Earth tour of this year's race.