A is for Iditarod… Wait a minute.. What????

A is for Iditarod?

Well in 3A it is… A is for Iditarod because it is held in Alaska. And because the dogs accelerate along the trail.

Several weeks ago we read a book called A is for Musk Ox by Erin Cabatingan.  When I first told the boys we were going to read an alphabet book, they kind of rolled their eyes and looked as if I had just insulted their intelligence.  Once we got past the first page, they were hooked and rolling on the floor with laughter!

We then created our own version called A is for Iditarod.  The boys brainstormed by themselves a list of items, words or terms associated with the Iditarod for each letter of the alphabet. They then worked with their table teams to try to draft a version of the book in the style of the mentor text.  Next, we combined it all together into one book and started the process over to fill in the gaps.  The last step was to complete the illustrations for each page.

You can see our final book here.

A musher is given her cache of Trail Mail at the Ceremonial Start in 2012

A musher is given her cache of Trail Mail at the Ceremonial Start in 2012

We created the book as a part of our Trail Mail project.  The Trail Mail Educational Project is a project that started many years ago.  Part of what the race commemorates is the use of dogs in the delivering of mail in Alaska’s early days.  As part of their mandatory gear, each musher must carry a mail cache down the trail.  Included in the cache are Trail Mail projects from schools around the country.  As a participating school, we sent a single sided one sheet document to Nome.  Our Trail Mail sheet has our alphabet book (minus pictures) included on it.  Once it arrives in Alaska, volunteers will have it shrinkwrapped with a pile of other projects and mail.  It will be given to one musher who will carry it on their sled for the entire race.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to find out who has our project and we’ll be able to track them down the trail.  When it arrives back in Nome at the end of the race, the musher, the official checker, and some school children from Nome will sign off on it along with the all the official data from the musher’s finish.  They will then mail it back to us!

Today, we got the chance to share our fully illustrated books with our Kindergarten Little Buddies. Each third grader read the book to their buddy and then gave their buddy their own copy to keep.  It seems like the kindergartners are pretty excited to learn more about the Iditarod and mushing!

Buddy Reading!

Buddy Reading!

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