Iditarod 2013


The Iditarod is starting in less than two weeks! Every year, kids from our school participate in the eIditarod, an online project that helps us learn more about this fascinating race. You can read about last year’s project here.

This year, we started learning about the race back in December, when we Skyped with a ranger at Denali National Park to learn more about sled dogs.

We made a map to track the Iditarod route. First, we traced a map of Alaska and wrote the names of all the checkpoints on the route. Then we colored it white using oil pastels.

Next, we did research to choose the musher our class would follow this year. We divided up the list of this year’s mushers and each one of our project groups researched 10-12 mushers.

Each group decided on one nominee to present to the rest of the class. All of our nominees were great mushers with lots of experience, and the groups did an excellent job of presenting their choices. However, we could only choose one, and the winner of our class vote was: Lance Mackey!

Now, all we have to do is try to be patient as we wait for the race to start on March 2! We’ll be tracking Lance’s progress on the trail every day.

This video was made by Dallas Seavey, last year’s Iditarod champion.

Does your class follow the Iditarod?




  1. Mrs. Hamman,
    I’m the 2011 Iditarod Teacher on the Trail and I still work with the race’s Education Department and its director, Diane Johnson. I have a Google alert on my email for the word Iditarod, which is how your blog showed up in my email. I enjoyed looking at it. I’m leaving Feb. 22 for a month in Alaska at the race, working with the Iditarod Winter Educators Conference next week and then as a race volunteer in Shageluk and Nome. Hope your class continues to enjoy learning with the race.
    Martha Dobson, Mt. Pleasant, NC

    • Thanks for your comment, Ms. Dobson! We’ve seen some of your posts on the Iditarod website. We think it sounds exciting to get to spend a month in Alaska! Have fun and we’ll keep checking for updates from you on the Iditarod site!

  2. Lance Mackey won four Iditarod in a row. He is one of the best people who won Iditarod.

  3. Lance Mackey must be the brother of Jason Mackey. The kids that chose Lance must be really happy that he got picked. They did a good job. Right?

  4. We want to know if you can give us more information about the iditarod race.

  5. Dear Mrs.Hamman’s class,

    We are doing the same thing its fun. Are you guys voting for a musher we are going to track the musher and we are going to route for that musher. Are you doing that. Oh are you guys doing it in groups.By the way your blog is awesome.

    Your friend,

  6. Dear Mrs.Hamman,

    How did you know how many votes there were?

    We need to do more research on Lance Mackey.

    • Hi Brendan! I kept a tally of the votes you sent me on Google Apps. I checked the names to make sure no one voted twice so it was fair. I agree, we should try to find out more about Lance Mackey. I’ll bet he has a website. Do you think you could find it?
      Mrs. Hamman

  7. Dear Mrs.Hamman. Thank you for all the fun things that we do in third grade.When can people stop poaching rhinos?

  8. Dear Mrs.Hamman,
    I liked the rhino video so much! Did you like all of the art and the color that we did ?
    Your friend,

  9. Dear Mrs.Hamman,
    The Iditerod is one of the most exciting things I have ever done, besides the rhino project.

  10. Dear Mrs. Hamman’s class,
    Nice job guys making the map, and coloring it. The people who chose Lance Mackey must be really happy.

    Your friend,

  11. Dear Mrs. Hamman,

    Moe(my little brother) and I are going to try to get jobs as iditarod racers, when we grow up! When I am old enough I am going to try to enter!

  12. How exciting to find other classes studying and following the Iditaod! We are an American school in Belgium with students from 12 different countries including the USA. Everyone is counting down the days and hours until the Great Race starts! I love my bullentin board and all of the materials I have put together for my wildly interested 3rd graders. We would really like to be in touch via email or Skype with another class!

    • Dear Ms. Mitchell,

      We would love to correspond with you! Does your class have a blog, or do you use Edmodo? I will send you an email.


      Mrs. Hamman

  13. Hello, all. I hope you’ve seen the photos I put up from the race start on Saturday. They are in the Education Portal on the home page of The Facebook page has many photos, too, but you may not have the ability to show that at school. I head to Shageluk in the next few days.
    Martha Dobson

  14. I’m reading about the Iditarod. When I grow up I want to be in the Iditarod. What about you? One time I saw a real Alaskan huskie. It was so little and now it’s huge. Have you seen a huskie before?

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  17. Hello Mrs. Hamman,

    I came across your blog while doing some research on ways to get students more engaged in reading and literacy activities. I live in Alaska and since we follow the race anyways, I thought it would be great to do something that pertains to the Iditarod! I love the ideas that you have come up with and how engaged your children are in those experiences. I would like to incorporate some of those same activities this year myself. I also plan to participate in the IditaRead program. I look forward to following your blog this year during the Iditarod!

    • Thank you for your comment! The Iditarod project is always a highlight of our year. Please let us know if you come across any new ideas for exploring the Iditarod–we love to collaborate and try new things!

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