ALEX Lesson Plan


The Iditarod Comes to Alabama

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Linda Hardee
System: Huntsville City
School: Highlands Elementary School
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33190


The Iditarod Comes to Alabama


Alabama students will experience the fun of an Iditarod race, in the South instead of Alaska.  Students will "walk" from one checkpoint to another using the northern route of the Iditarod.

This is a College- and Career-Ready Standards showcase lesson plan.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
PE1 (K)
2. Use correct form while marching and walking.
PE1 (1)
2. Apply varied effort and pathways to running, jumping, and throwing.
MA2015 (K)
2. Count forward beginning from a given number within the known sequence (instead of having to begin at 1). [K-CC2]

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will learn about Alaska's annual Iditarod dog sled race.  

They will use a comparable area to represent the distance of each checkpoint.  The checkpoints range from 11-85 miles in distance.

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

Greater than 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Pedometers for each child or use the school walking track or a pre-measured distance inside the school or home.

You may read or watch the video about Balto as an option to build background.

Technology Resources Needed:

Computer with Internet access to follow the race stats


Teachers should familiarize themselves the the Iditarod race the website

Grid paper to chart the students distance traveled, Unifix cubes may also be useful for students to physically manipulate the items. 


1.  Read or watch Balto, if desired.  If not share the information about the Iditarod from the website in background.

2.  Explain that your students are going to keep up with their mileage and "walk" the Iditarod just like the mushers.  Every day during the race (beginning the first Saturday in March) until the musher crosses the finish line, their mileage will be recorded.

3.  Daily introduce a different musher (or more) and share their story from the website.  You can randomly select them, or preread the biographies that might make a good connection for the students.

4.  Talk about the race leaders, and the characteristics that make a good leader.

5.  The Iditarod doesn't have stickers or stamps when a musher crosses, but you might want to incorporate this.


Assessment Strategies

After they walk each day, they will color in the grids for the distance they covered.  The teacher will check for understanding.


Some students might like to measure the distances to walk, for instance, how many blocks in the hallway equal which distance.

If you use pedometers, they might measure how many steps in an area.


Students could be placed in mixed groups, so they can observe each other and work together.

Each area below is a direct link to general teaching strategies/classroom accommodations for students with identified learning and/or behavior problems such as: reading or math performance below grade level; test or classroom assignments/quizzes at a failing level; failure to complete assignments independently; difficulty with short-term memory, abstract concepts, staying on task, or following directions; poor peer interaction or temper tantrums, and other learning or behavior problems.

Presentation of Material Environment
Time Demands Materials
Attention Using Groups and Peers
Assisting the Reluctant Starter Dealing with Inappropriate Behavior
Be sure to check the student's IEP for specific accommodations.