Friday, March 20, 2015

Back to Books

Write, Share, Give
There is always about a week and a half in March in which I find it very difficult to get any books read. It isn’t that I am not reading. In fact, I am usually glued to some words at every opportunity, but they are blog posts, Tweets, and news articles as I attempt to follow the Iditarod from across the globe.

This year was no different.

I also incorporate the race into my lessons for a couple of weeks. Students who have no idea about the climate or culture of Alaska, let alone anything about dog mushing become enthralled right along with me. We use our research and map skills. This year climate change was my entrance point during our geology unit as the restart had to move to Fairbanks due to lack of snow in Anchorage. (Only the second time in the race’s 43 running.)

I assigned each child a few mushers to research and cheer for. The students get really into it, elated when their team(s) are doing well and crest fallen when someone has to withdraw from the race.

This year, Brent Sass’ disqualification was a fascinating story. I was rooting for him, therefore this next statement may sounds off. Brent’s handling of his DQ was an excellent lesson in taking responsibility for one’s actions. This is was my emphasis as we looked at the situation.

Stories of overcoming hardship can always be found during the race. None more so than Lance’s this year, probably his last.

After three years of second place finishes I was really hoping for this to be Aliy’s year. Her positive spirit and love of her team are so fun to watch. Unfortunately it wasn’t to happen.

So now that Dallas has a third win, Seaveys placing 1st and 2nd and the next 29 teams have finished I am thinking about reading a book. Yes, there are still 36 teams on the trail, and I will follow the race through until the Red Lantern comes down, but it is time to open a book as well – til next March.


  1. This didn't go where I expected. Very interesting. Your passion really comes through. I love interdisciplinary units and wish I got to be a part of them more often.

  2. This is fascinating! I'm impressed with the way you not only teach geography, but character through the Iditarod. Much more interesting than following March Madness.

  3. I love the way you showcase your passion and integrating it into your teaching and thus bringing awareness and interest to your students as well. Lovely.

  4. This is an amazing race to follow and it looks like the stories of the race are very exciting too. xo

  5. You got me too! Interesting! One of my favorite short reads is Stone Fox. My fifth graders read it before they get to me, buy this would be a good change to our routine in March and something they can relate to a bit - tracking the race.

  6. Had you seen this on Aliy Zirkle?