The Iditarod Sled Dog Race started on March 5. Just like in past years, several classes at our school are researching and following the race. The difference this year is that normally the race starts during our Spring Break, but this year the first six days of the race will take place before we go on our break, so we’ll really get a chance to see how our mushers progress!
This year we have two ELA and Social Studies classes, so each class researched the musher profiles and wrote opinion pieces about which one we should follow. In the Purple Class, Aliy Zirkle was the top nominee, and in the Blue Class, it was Jeff King. Good luck to both of those mushers! We have a student-made map outside our classroom where we’ll be tracking their progress.
This year we have even more of a connection to the race than we’ve had in the past. We’ve Skyped with Miss Holmquist’s fifth grade class in Alaska a few times already this year. Now that it’s Iditarod time, we are doing a collaborative project with them. We are each making an Iditarod Alphabet book which we’ll be exchanging by mail. Each of us chose a word or idea related to the Iditarod and wrote a research page about it, and this week we’ll be compiling them into a book. This Thursday we’ll be Skyping again with Miss Holmquist’s class, and we’re looking forward to learning about the race from primary sources. Miss Holmquist actually went to the ceremonial start of the race in Anchorage last Saturday! She sent us some great pictures.
We also had the chance to learn more about the geography and climate of Alaska from a park ranger at Denali National Park, who Skyped with us and taught us a lot, especially about Mount Denali. Do you know the difference between measuring a mountain’s height by elevation or by relief?
Who do you think will win the Iditarod this year?