The Iditarod Sled Dog Race will begin this year on March 7th. It commemorates the famous 1000 mile mercy run of diphtheria serum from Seward to Nome in 1925. Today it is run from Anchorage to Nome. Known as the "Last Great Race," it is an exciting, dangerous adventure that kids love to read about. You can also follow it at this site. It has a special area for teachers and kids. They can follow the progress as the drivers reach each checkpoint and keep track of the weather. There are also links to show fantastic photographs taken on the trail.
Here are some great books:
Kiana's Iditarod by Shelley Gill, illustrated by Shannon Cartwright, published by Sasquatch Books, Washington. It is an exciting rhyming story with wonderful illustrations including maps.
Storm Run by Libby Riddles, illustrated by Shannon Cartwright, published by Sasquatch Books, Washington. Another wonderful book about the first woman to win the Iditarod Race. It has illustrations and photographs.
Born To Pull by Bob Cary and Gail de Marcken, published by Scholastic, New York. This chapter book tells everything you want to know about the dogs that are used to pull sleds. It shares short sled dog stories and is very informative about "mushing" in general.
Follow up Art Project:
For this project you will need a small cardboard box (like a matchbox) or you can cut one from card stock. You will also need two wooden craft sticks and two wooden coffee sticks (the ones used to stir hot beverages), hot glue or strong craft glue, and crayons.
Draw a simple sketch of a running dog. It doesn't need to be perfect! Cut out two identical images. Let the kids color them with crayons. If they are interested, they can go online to check the different breeds used as sled dogs and see the various colors and markings they can choose to use.
Hot glue the craft sticks to the bottom of the box. Glue the coffee sticks to the box and to the dogs. Depending the your child's age, they may want to do a little research and decide what things might be needed on such a long and dangerous trip and add those items to the "sled." They can also create a driver and add background scenery. Have fun!