Geography Quest: Iditarod Edition
The last great race on earth begins on March 1, 2014. Are you ready? Let’s map this race course and learn a little history at the same time. You’ll be surprised at the people who participate including teachers and the quintessential adolescent survival author, Gary Paulsen.
Learn Alaska History & Geography by Following the Iditarod
- Learn the origin of the Iditarod and its importance to the state of Alaska.
- Where is the race?
- Follow the race route, what obstacles to the mushers face?
- How long has Alaska sponsored this race?
Create a Map of the Race
- Print a map of Alaska and enlarge it.
- Map of the race route for reference- note how the trail changes depending on whether or not it’s an even or an odd year.
- Educator tips on mapping and using the map during the race.
Follow the Progress of the Mushers
Using the maps, read about the mushers entered in this year’s race and follow along with them. You can read about how the race is going and check in with your favorites. You can even get creative about mapping progress.
This year there have been concerns about trail conditions. Did you know it’s been fairly mild this winter in Alaska? Lack of snow and the prevalence of ice and unfrozen water are some of this year’s anticipated trail conditions.
I printed a map of Alaska by using the poster printing option with our WonderMaps edition of Alaska. Before I printed, I chose to enlarge by 200% so it would print on six different sheets of paper. Then I did the same for the trail map. Now we can mark where the mushers on the trail each day.
Resources for Following the Iditarod
- Iditarod : The Last Great Race on Earth– The official site of the Iditarod with countless resources for educators.
- Videos– A page of videos from the trail. They have feature stories along with news from the checkpoints and race analysis.
- Education Portal– There are loads of resources here for teachers including literature connections. Enjoy a look through all efforts from many folks who work to make this a fun time of year for students.
We’ll be following the race this year. Would you like to join us?
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