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Iditarod 2014

Last year I read a post by Heidi at HomeSchoolroom about their unit study on the Iditarod. I knew this was something we would enjoy so calendared it for this year. As the 2014 Iditarod race begins this Saturday, March 1st, we started our studies this week. I thought I would share what we are doing in case you would like to jump in. There's still time!


As we always have to incorporate a read aloud, we are reading Winterdance by Gary Paulson. Did you know that the famed youth author has actually raced in the Iditarod? I can't think of a better living book on this topic!


We wanted to watch "Toughest Race on Earth" produced by The Discovery Channel in 2008. The only place we could find it for free was on Youtube broken down into six episodes. The quality is not first-rate, but it's good enough for us and well worth the time to watch! We have already learned so much and can't wait to watch the rest. (And we may get that chance to finish them all today as Brynne is sick and running a fever.)

Picture Books

We always throw in as many picture books as our little library has to offer. We were able to get our hands on Mush by Patricia Seibert, Painter and Ugly by Robert J. Blake, and Akiak: a Tale from the Iditarod by Robert J. Blake.

Field Trip

Dawson's friend at school breeds and raises Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes. We are planning to go out to his house one afternoon so that he can talk with us about his dogs and let us see them. I hear there is a fairly new litter of puppies!

Other Activities

We are going to make puppy chow for us to snack on while watching our videos and homemade dog treats for our doggies.

The origin of the Iditarod got us talking about Eskimoes and we realized that the kids know very little about them. So, we are going to read some picture books about Eskimoes next week. Who knows where that rabbit trail will take us!

We will be following the race all next week. The official Iditarod website has lots of resources. We learned from the website that four of the mushers from the "Toughest Race on Earth" video are racing this year. That makes it really cool as we will feel like we actually know somebody racing. We will follow Jennifer Reiter, the Teacher on the Trail. And we hope to do an art project with Iditarod poster artist Jon Van Zyle.


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