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Lesson Ideas: Mush Forward with the Iditarod!

February 20, 2014 / by Elizabeth Weiland

The Iditarod, which stretches 975 miles from Anchorage to Nome, has all the hallmarks of a great story: difficult conditions, teamwork, perseverance in the face of obstacles, achieving an arduous goal... and dogs.

We've put together a list of resources dedicated to incorporating the Iditarod in your classroom. No matter what subject you teach, the Iditarod provides opportunities for real-life applications of course content.

The Iditarod starts on March 1st.

1. Mr. Hausman's class makes real life predictions about the Iditarod using complex mathematical calculations in The Iditarod and Math. While you watch Mr. Hausman's lesson, consider the following:

  1. How does the teacher use fun ways to integrate technology into a math lesson?
  2. How does the teacher use math to make sense of the natural world?
  3. How do the kids learn to explore and develop theories on their own?
  4. How do the kids learn to estimate arrival times based on average speeds?

2. The National Education Association provides resources for grades K-56-8 and 9-12. You can find lesson plans, recommended reading, activities and games, and quizzes.

3. The official website for the Iditarod features an education portal with lesson plans, service learning projects, and updates on the race itself. You can also check out the section on the Jr. Iditarod, a 150 mile race for mushers (the humans who drive the dogsleds) for ages 14-17.

4. Scholastic's site for the Iditarod includes activities, information about Alaska and a list of books about the race.

5. The Iditarod even has a Teacher on the Trail, who will attend the race and blog about it as it progresses! The official blog for the Iditarod Teacher on the Trail offers lesson materials created by current and former teachers.

Iditarod Map

Topics: Lesson Planning, Math

Elizabeth Weiland

Written by Elizabeth Weiland

Elizabeth Weiland is Teaching Channel’s Advertising and Licensing Account Manager. Follow her on Twitter, @ElizabetWeiland.

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