Dogsled Adventure

Dogsled Adventure lesson plan

Research dog sledding and the Iditarod competition and build a model dog sled team.

  • 1.

    Students choose a dogsledding subtopic to research with a partner, such as types of dogs used, how dogs and people train, weather conditions typical for the Iditarod, or provisions taken on a race. Students share information with the rest of the class in a visual report.

  • 2.

    Students find pictures or samples of soapstone animals made by carvers in Canada and Alaska. Note their textures. Study pictures of dogs and sleds. Create a musher and sled dogs with Crayola® Model Magic. Dry 24 hours.

  • 3.

    Use Crayola Multicultural Markers and Regular Markers to add details that make the dogsled team unique.

  • 4.

    Make basket dogsleds with chenille sticks and Model Magic. Connect yarn ganglines with Crayola School Glue. Fill dogsleds with construction paper provisions.

  • 5.

    Arrange dog sleds on a large table covered in white to simulate snow. Display visual reports. Dress in warm coats, gloves, and boots to answer visitors' questions.


  • LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Conduct short research projects that build knowledge through investigation of aspects of a topic.
  • LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • SS: Identify and describe ways family, groups, and community influence the individual's daily life and personal choices.
  • SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.
  • VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.


  • Possible classroom resources include: Akiak: A Tale From the Iditarod by Robert J. Blake; The Great Serum Race: Blazing the Iditarod Trail by Debbie S. Miller; Storm Run: The Story of the First Woman to Win the Iditarod Sled Dog Race by Libby Riddles
  • In small groups, students investigate dog sledding and the Iditarod. Students prepare an electronic presentation to share with classmates.
  • Children work in small groups to write an original story about a dog sled adventure. A sketch of a scene from the story should accompany the story. Students take a digital photograph of the scene and upload it to a classroom computer. The team audiotapes the original story and connects the audio file to their digital photograph. The story is now ready to be presented to the class.