Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Iditarod Projects!

Over the last two weeks we have been working on reading strategies as we read the story Akiak. This story tells about a sled dog's amazing adventure during the Iditarod. When we started this story, we realized that we knew very little about the race and had lots of questions. Many of these questions didn't get answered in our story so we worked together in groups to find these answers and present them to the rest of the class.

You can view the videos of our presentations below. These videos are currently hosted on our private YouTube site. If you cannot see the embedded videos and would like to view them, please send me an email at, and I will send you the private links.

Click on this video to learn about the equipment mushers might use:

Watch this video to learn some basic information about the race:

Mushers are the brave, strong men and women who ride with the dogs. You can learn more about the mushers by watching this video:

And finally, we had LOTS of questions about the amazing dogs who run this race, and two groups share what they learned about the dogs:

If you would like to learn more about the Iditarod, you can click on the "Websites and Apps We Use" tab and check out our many different sites where we found our information.


  1. Students in the Bair's Den,
    I just wanted to let you know how much I learned from your videos and how much I enjoyed them.

    I have always been interested in the Iditarod because Baltic one of the original dogs is well known in Cleveland, Oh, some 40 miles from where I live. From wikipedia, the Balto article:
    "Balto was not destined to be a star in the breeding shed since he was neutered at a young age, hence he was relegated to being neglected on the vaudeville circuit with his team. While visiting Los Angeles, George Kimble, a former prize fighter turned businessman from Cleveland, was shocked to discover the dogs were unhealthy and badly treated.

    Mr. Kimble worked together with the newspaper, The Plain Dealer, to bring Balto and his team to Cleveland, Ohio. On March 19, 1927, Balto and six companions were brought to Cleveland and given a hero's welcome in a triumphant parade. The dogs were then taken to the Brookside Zoo (now the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo).

    After Balto's death in 1933, his remains were mounted by a taxidermist, and donated to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.[5] In 1998 the Alaska Legislature passed HJR 62- 'Bring Back Balto' resolution. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History declined to return Balto; however, in October 1998, Balto left for a five-month stay at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art which drew record crowds."

    I'm wondering, each of your groups, did you enjoy finding the answers to your own questions? were you surprised by any of the answers?

  2. Dear Lani,

    Yes we liked finding our own stuff instead of doing worksheets. It was fun because we were interested in what we were doing. It was interesting because even though I wasn't there that day it was fun to answer other people's questions.

    We will tell you more about the answers that surprised us on Monday. Have a great weekend!

    The Bair's Den