Quilt 9 Ends the School Year in California

11 06 2012

I thought I would sort of outline what we did in our year-long study of The Iditarod.

We did get to display the quilt for a good long time so the students got to really read and look at all of the quilt squares.  We also discussed the squares.  Another thing that we had time for was to watch Trent Herbst’s CD.  The kids loved it and I was amazed.  I learned a lot about how mushers prepare for the race.  It was great for the kids to see other students filling checkpoint bags with everything that is needed for the trail.

Our year-long Unit.

Sept. – Oct. = Study of landforms – We learn about and make a relief map of Alaska’s landforms.  We label and paint our maps also (we make the maps out of crayola modeling compound because we use the maps all year and they compound doesn’t break apart).

Nov. – Dec. = Study of Arctic animals – We research and write reports about the animals found in Alaska.

Jan. = Study of dogs used in The Iditarod = We label dog parts, learn about Huskies and Malamutes and discuss breeding for certain attributes for Iditarod (good leadership, endurance etc).  Then we make sock puppies to look like Huskies with a dark cap etc.  They take the puppies home and record all of the things they do with their puppies in a journal

Feb. = Mushers – We pick mushers to follow and learn a little bit about them.

Mar. = Checkpoints and Iditarod – We pick a checkpoint and learn about its location on The Iditarod Trail, weather, etc.  We label some checkpoints on our map and put The Iditarod Trail on the map also.  Then we complete the maps by making a map key.  Then we chart our mushers’ progress and keep track of all of the happenings during the race.  We also participate in Iditaread (We keep track of how many pages we read to see how many times we can get from Anchorage to Nome during the actual time the race takes).  Then we write letters pretending that we are mushers, telling our parents about our Iditarod adventures (signed with their firt name and their musher’s last name)  They get their pictures taken with snow gear on standing on our fake sled and we put their letter over their picture using the computer program Pages.

Then we have Open House where we display all of the things we did all year.  The picture shows this year’s bulletin board Our Journey to Iditarod.  It was a timeline of the build up of learning towards Iditarod.

It shows our Landforms bridge maps on the left, then the Arctic animals reports and pictures had to go on the side board, then you see the paper plate dogs and the puppies and their houses on the lower counter with the journals.  Over by March are the Musher trading cards and checkpoint info cards.  You can also see their musher dolls ( that have photos of the kids for their faces) and the chart of where each of their mushers were on each day of the race (to compare one musher’s progress with another’s).  You can see the maps on the students’ desks and those stand up projects on their desks are their musher letters.

I got some of the ideas from Teacher on the Trail lesson plans (sock puppies and musher trading cards) and adapted other ideas from things I did with other subjects.  All of the activities address Second Grade California State Standards in some way.




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