It is my students favorite time of the school year, at least in my class. They begin asking on the first day of school if we can do 'it' again. They talk about this all year long. They talk about their person; they talk smack to each other, all in good fun!
What are we doing? We are following the “Last Great Race” ~ The Iditarod!It is amazing to see students get so excited about this every year. Two weeks before the start of the race they pick a musher and do a little research. I have them write a Bio-poem about their musher. NO ONE complains about having to write this poem. They love it. SHOCK!!We keep track of the race with the Bio-Poems.
By the time the race starts we are ready. The kids come into the classroom before the bell rings (shocking) to be the first on a computer. They have to check their musher’s standings and chart it. We watch daily video feeds, and throughout the day kids will stop in to see if ‘their’ musher is on a video yet. :o) They are graphing, charting, discussing, writing, reading, and some even look up their musher at home at night. All of this makes me one very happy teacher! I wish there was a way to get them this engaged all year round.I know, and understand, that there are many different feelings about this race. We do discuss this in class. It is a very interesting discussion every year. I have never seen this race in person, but watching the videos of the dogs you can see how happy and excited they are. The health and welfare of the dogs is very important to many involved. You can tell that the mushers love these dogs and the sport. I am sure that there are bad mushers out there, but hopefully the strict regulations will keep them out of the event. Please don’t flame. Thank you.
The kids are already askingto do this again next year. Several students have already called the same person for next year. I never say absolutely yes until it gets closer to the start. The anticipation is part of the fun. (Mean aren’t I?)