Herb’s Lessons

This section of the website will be added to periodically, so check back for new lessons and updates.

Lesson 1: Introduction to the Iditarod Sled Dog Race; Grades 2-8; Geography, Social Studies, and Science; This lesson introduces how climate relates to lifestyle and culture.

Lesson 2: The Alaskan Husky; Grades 4-8; Technology, Science; This lesson uses computer skills such as cutting, pasting, and saving a Word document as a vehicle to learn the unique characteristics of the Alaskan Husky. 

Lesson 3: Making Electricity from the Sun; Grades 4-12; Science, Technology, Geography, Environmental Education; In this hands on lesson students see how the angle of a solar panel in relationship to the sun’s rays directly effects voltage output.  The Internet is used to research the average hours of sunlight per day for locations across the globe.    

Lesson 4: Wilderness Survival; Grades 4-8; Social Studies, Environmental Education; Students actually build a debris shelter(or model) as they study the hierarchy of survival priorities.  Read Iditarod stories of survival from the book More Iditarod Classics.

Lesson 5:The Reason for the Seasons; Grades 2 -6;  Science, Environmental Education; Students learn about the tilt of the earth and the angle of incidents of the sun’s rays and explain the causes of seasonal change.

Lesson 6: Are We There Yet; Grades 5-12; Technology, Geography; Find out how far it is from your house to Alaska and how long it will take to get there driving, walking, or using public transportation.

Lesson 7: Why is Iditarod a Ghost Town ; Grades 4-12; Environmental Education, Social Studies; Students determine the best place to locate a village by evaluating several locations for available water resources, type of soil, signs of wildlife, and ease of travel.

Lesson 8: The Cold Hard Facts; Grades 4 and above; Technology, Science, Math;In this lesson students use an Excel spreadsheet to record temperature data from their local area and a location in Alaska.  They also use the graphing capability of Excel to create a graph that compares the 2 locations.

Lessons from Finney

Daily Math Problems, Daily Oral Language Sentences, and Trail Questions

Math: Problem of the Day

by Andrea Aufer-Hyde


1. Three pieces of equipment were in the snow–a gangline, a sled bag and a harness. They belong to Joseph, James and Jeffery. James does not own the harness or the gangline. Joseph’s equipment goes on the dog. Who owns the gangline?


2. Two Jr. Iditarod mushers have a total of seventeen necklines. One has five more than the other. How many necklines do they each have?


3. DeeDee, Lyn and Joy ran a sprint race with only six dogs each. Joy’s time was faster than Lyn’s time, but Joy did not win. Who won the race? Who came in last?

4. Sam must be in Wasilla with his dogs for the vet check by 8:15 a.m. It takes him about three hours and ten minutes to get to Wasilla from his home. What time should Same leave his home to arrive in Wasilla on time?


5. Choose four mushers’ names that are in the Iditarod. What are the possibilities for the way the race could have finished with those four mushers?

6. Four dogs each had their own sleds in a dog sled race. The dogs’ names were Bandito, Sweetie Pie, M&M and Paws. Paws finished the race before Sweetie Pie but behind Bandito. M&M did not win, but she beat Sweetie Pie and Paws. Give the order of finish.


7. Six mushers met each other at the mushers’ banquet. If they each shake hands one time with every other person, how many handshakes will there be?

8. In the morning the temperature was -28 degrees F. By noon it was -50 degrees F, by 2:00 the temperature was 31 degrees. How many degrees did the temperature rise during the day? What fact did you not need to know to answer the question?


9. If each team has sixteen dogs and there are fifty-nine teams, how many dogs will leave Anchorage?

10. Abbi has a team of sixteen dogs. Eight of the dogs have blue eyes, two have yellow eyes, two have brown eyes and four have black eyes. Draw a circle graph to show the percentage of eye colors.


11. Today is February 28, 1999, the end of the Jr. Iditarod. What was the date three days ago? What will the date be tomorrow?

12. Carole buys seventeen big bags of dog food. She can only fit two bags into each grocery bag. How many grocery bags will she need?


13. Finney is standing in line to board the airplane headed to Anchorage. There are thirty-six people in front of her. There are thirty-eight people behind her. What is Finney’s position in line? How many people are standing in line?

14. A small jar of Vaseline for the dogs’ feet costs ninety cents. The Vaseline costs fifty cents more than the jar. How much does the Vaseline cost? How much does the jar cost?


15. There are seven black huskies, four white huskies and five gray huskies. What fraction of the team of huskies is gray?

16. Samantha has thirty-two huskies. She buys twelve more from another muhers. She gives two dogs to each of her five friends. How many dogs does Sammie have now?


17. It is snowing two inches every hour. If it snows for twelve more hours, hmow many inches of snow will be on the ground?

18. Sloan leaves Safety checkpoint at quarter after four. He reaches Nome three and one-half hours later. What time did he arrive in Nome?


19. Charlie and Don have one hundred thirty-six dogs combined in their separate dog lots. Don has twelve more than Charlie in his lot. How many dogs do they each have in their dog lots?

20. The race begins at 10:15 a.m. Alaska time. What time will it be in Pacific Time, Mountain Time, Central Time and Eastern Time?


21. Each dog eats approximately 5,000 calories a day while on the Trail. How many calories would a team of sixteen dogs consume?

22. During January, February and March, Peg read twenty-nine Iditarod books. She read 3 more in March than February. She read five more in January than February. She read twelve books in January. How many books did she read each month?

23. If it cost twenty-five cents per pound to send your food bags to the checkpoints, how much will two thousand pounds cost to ship?

24. This is a dog family. M&M is Lollipop’s mother. Bon Bon is M&M’s mother. How is Bon-Bon related to Lollipop?

25. Henry leaves McGrath at 9:52. It takes him four hours and sixteen minutes to reach the next checkpoint. What time is it when he gets there?

26. You have two pairs of long underware pants and three different tops. How many different outfits can you make? Draw a diagram.

Daily Oral Language Sentences

by Andrea Aufder-Hyde


1. yesterday we went to musher susans cabin to played with the dog’s


2. on the trail I founded snow moose wolves overflow and went threw white-outs


3. the iditarod trail sled dog race will begun in anchorage alaska on march 6 1999

4. is the iditarod headquarters located in wasilla alaska


5. lynda plettner are a musher from big lake alaska which is located near willow

6. the iditarod race commemorates the serum run from nenana to nome


7. what do the musher use to sea in the dark

8. i wonder when I will take my 24 our mandatory layover said the musher


9. it was the three veterinarians decision to shipped the dog’s back to anchorage

10. wow the northern light’s is glorious in the sky last night


9. it was the three veterinarians decision to shipped the dog’s back to anchorage

10. wow the northern light’s is glorious in the sky last night


11. the swirling snow ice and winds caused the musher to be un able to sea

12. the tallest mountain in north america is called denali


13. a incredible new book about huskys and mushing is called born to pull

14. walt disney made a movie from the book balto but we shouldnt overlook the importance of togo


15. the ending of the book stonefox illustrates the lifeskills of perseverance effort caring and friendship

16. i wonder what would have happen if kiana had finished the race in day light


17. there is an old gold mining ghost town called iditarod

18. my for dogs lizzie m&m emmyline and sport was dropped off at the white mountain checkpoint


19. my sled broke and I need new runner a handle and stanchions

20. the old dog’s teach the young dog’s how to run together as a teem


21. is there a difference between the fir on a white huskie and the fir on a black and gray huskie

22. has dr herndon checked all the puppys foot

23. don’t play with rosie my pet huskie

24. were gonna go for a run with a teem of ate dog’s

25. im gonna get sum water for my dog’s don said

26. he gots my boots and sue gots my boot liners wicking sock’s and woolen sock’s


Trail Questions

1.      A musher must walk behind his sled to help his dogs.  If he is going across the Farewell Burn for 120 miles and will walk 75%  of the time,  How many miles will  he walk?

2.      Your team of dogs loves to eat honey balls as a snack.  You stop the team 12 times between checkpoints to snack them.  How many honey balls would you give to a  team of 16 dogs?  (They each only get one!)

3.      You have quickly come down a hill onto a frozen stream with an overflow.  Describe what the crossing was like for you (the musher) and the dogs.

4.      You fall asleep on your sled and awake to find your lead dog has taken the wrong turn and you are now floundering in deep snow and the dogs are all tangled.  What life skills will you use to get yourself and dogs out of this situation?

5.      If the temperature drops 4 degrees every hour, how many degrees would the temperature drop between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.

6.      Because of the terrain, you must change your team’s booties every five miles.  There are now 11 dogs in your team.  The distance from one checkpoint to the other is 275 miles. How many booties will you need to use?

7.      The night sky is glorious with  an outstanding display of  the Northern Lights.  Create a visual to illustrate this

8.      You are totally exhausted.  Your team was recently fed, rested and booties.  They are pulling well.  What can YOU do to exemplify the life skill of perseverance

9.      It is 2:30 a.m. and the temperature is –47 degrees.  If the temperature drops 3 degrees every half hour, what will  the temperature be by 8:30 a.m.?

10.  The sun is so hot on the trail, that the snow is melting quickly.  In 15 minutes, five gallons of water are collected.  How much water will be collected in an hour?

11.  Visualize a musher and his team coming through a white-out. Create this as an art project using any medium to make it effective.

12.  Pretend you are the lead dog.  Write about your feelings and challenges as you lead the team from one checkpoint to another.

13.  If you are near the end of the teams on the trail and things look pretty bleak, how can you continue to motivate yourself and your dogs to finish the race?

14.  You must send all the dog food ahead to all of the checkpoints.  How do you calculate the amount of food that you will need to send for a team of 16 dogs?

15.  As a class project, see if you can create your own verse to Hobo Jim’s ‘Iditarod Trail’ Song.


Numbers.  The bottom line.  In the recent presidential election the winner was decided by who had the most votes.  The more dogs you have at the end of the race, the higher you are likely to finish.  Last Sunday in the Super Bowl, there were all kinds of numbers given, first downs, completed passes, etc, but the bottom line, the numbers that decide which team won the game, are the ones on the scoreboard, 27-23.  The high score wins.  At this point in my cancer treatment I am playing a numbers game too, and again the high score wins.  The higher my white and red blood cell counts are, the healthier I am.  Currently my counts are so low that I cannot eat fresh fruits or vegetables for fear that some germ may not get washed off and attack my weakened immune system.  I am still fatigued by anemia.  My hope and prayer is that my numbers will steadily increase-which they are doing!-to the point that I am healthy enough to board that plane to Alaska on February 24.  The bottom line is in the numbers.

So with all the ways numbers affect our lives I thought it was time to post a few number lessons.  One lesson is for building up the excitement of The Last Great Race on Earth by counting down the days until Iditarod XXXVII.  The second is a fun lesson on learning to skip count by 5’s using dog bones and tally marks.  And in the third lesson students will sort dog bones by color, demonstrate 1-1 correspondence in counting, and show conceptual understanding of the terms more, less, and equal.  Since my last message, I did post a lesson on phonological awareness using the book, Sled Dogs Run, by Jonathan London with illustrations by Jon Van Zyle.  The teacher’s guide that accompanies the lesson is filled with ideas that can be used for transition times, dismissal, as well as small and whole group instruction.  I hope you can add these lessons to your Iditarod studies.  Happy Trails!

Dog Bone Tally

Summary:  In this lesson students will learn to skip count by fives using tally marks and dog bones.

Download Lesson Plan:  Dog Bone Tally

Download Lesson Plan Supplement:  Tally Sheet

Countdown to the Iditarod!

Summary:  Students will write numbers 1-25 on a linear claendar.  To build excitement for the upcoming Iditarod students will cut one day off their calendar until the race.

Download Lesson Plan:  Countdown to the Iditarod!

The Calendar

Sort and Count Dog Bones

Summary:  Students will sort dog bones by color, demonstrate 1-1 correspondence, and show conceptual understanding of the terms more, less, and equal in this lesson.

Download Lesson Plan:  Sort and Count Dog Bones

Jane’s Lessons

Jane’s lessons require Acrobat Reader
2/06/2008 6 Traits Writing – menu
2/05/2008 2008 Iditarod Math Problem of the Day 21-25
1/29/2008 2008 Iditarod Math Problem of the Day 16-20
1/22/2008 Iditarod and the Science of Force
1/21/2008 2008 Iditarod Math Problem of the Day 11 – 15
1/13/2008 Barking Up the Right Tree (6 traits writing)
Worksheet: voice rubric
1/13/2008 Leaping to a Healthy Heart
Worksheet: Leap Olympics Checklist
Worksheet: Leap Olympics Events
1/12/2008 Mapping the Common Thread Quilt Project
1/10/2008 2008 Iditarod Math Problem of the Day 6-10
1/06/2008 Iditarod 2008 Math Problem of the Day 1-5
1/06/2008 Junior Iditarod Venn Diagram
1/05/2008 The Teacher Times January Edition
1/05/2008 What it Takes – citizenship (character ed)
1/03/2008 That’s the Name of the Game (culture)
12/29/2007 The Teacher Times December Edition
12/27/2007 New Year – a sled dog pup’s first year (science)
Worksheet: sled dog pup first year synopsis
Worksheet: sled dog pup math problems
12/27/2007 Order! Order! (6 Traits writing)
Worksheet: organization rubric
12/23/2007 What it Takes – stewardship (character ed)
11/28/2007 Choose Your Words Wisely (6 Traits writing)
Worksheet: sentences to revise for word choice
Worksheet: word choice rubric
11/25/2007 What it Takes – respect (character education)
11/25/2007 Christmas – the season of giving-service learning
Worksheet: Mushers Charitable Organizations/Causes
11/25/2007 Call for Quilts
11/18/2007 Your Personal Slogan
11/03/2007 What it Takes – positive attitude (character ed)
11/03/2007 Who Has – money management terms (economics)
Worksheet: game cards
11/03/2007 World Wide Pie (geography)
Worksheet: introduction
Worksheet: rubric
11/03/2007 Thanksgiving – game birds on Iditarod (science)
11/03/2007 The Teacher Times November Edition
10/22/2007 Woodsong Journal Ideas
10/14/2007 The Teacher Times October Edition
9/23/2007 Money Then and Now (soc. st./economics)
Worksheet: Fact Finding Worksheet
9/23/2007 He Says, She Says (soc. st./culture/foreign lang.)
9/22/2007 Halloween – Musher Costume (science)
Worksheet: Musher Costume Investigation Lab Sheet
9/06/2007 The Teacher Times September Edition
9/03/2007 What it Takes – self-control, self-respect
8/29/2007 Labor Day- Iditarod Workers (soc. st./economics)
8/18/2007 Classroom Checker’s Reports (classroom management)
8/13/2007 Happy Trails (geography/history/social studies)
8/06/2007 SOS! (economics)
Worksheet: Budget Sheet
Worksheet: Musher Expense Information
8/06/2007 What it Takes – goal setting (character education)
8/02/2007 The Teacher Times August Edition
7/06/2007 What it Takes – responsibility
7/06/2007 The Teacher Times July Edition
7/06/2007 And The Nominees Are (character education)
Worksheet: scoring rubric
7/06/2007 Take a Left on Cactus Road (cultural influence)
Worksheet: scavenger hunt checklist
7/06/2007 Let’s Go! Hike! (economics)
Worksheet: fundraising worksheet
7/06/2007 Alaskan Cinderella Stories (literature)
7/06/2007 Iceberg to Iceberg (P.E.)
7/06/2007 Is It Still Summer? (seasons)
Worksheet: seasons activity
7/06/2007 Arctic Animal Trading Cards (science)
Worksheet: trading card pattern
Worksheet: trading card rubric
7/06/2007 And in Corner #49 – Alaska! (map skills)
7/06/2007 There’s More Than One Way! (creative thinking)
Worksheet: SCAMPER activity guidelines
7/06/2007 There’s a Moose on the Loose! (models)
7/06/2007 Northern Lights (art)
7/06/2007 Investigative Reporters (science)
Worksheet: example guidelines
Worksheet: investigative reporters rubric
7/06/2007 In Other Words (vocab)
Worksheet: vocabulary map
7/06/2007 Alaskan Living Wax (cross-curricular)
Worksheet: wax museum abstract rubric
Worksheet: wax museum display rubric
6/30/2007 The Common Thread Quilt

Kim’s Lessons

Kim’s messages require Acrobat Reader
3/12/2007 Pictures Trail Tidbits 16
3/11/2007 Pictures Trail Tidbits 15
3/10/2007 Pictures Day 8
3/06/2007 One Small Square
Worksheet: One Small Square Pictures
2/22/2007 Trail Tails – February
2/22/2007 Iditarod T-shirt Shop
Worksheet: Iditarod T-shirt
2/22/2007 Iditarod Stem and Leaf Data
Worksheet: Iditarod Basic Gear
2/22/2007 How Much Is Iditarod Worth?
Worksheet: How Much Is Iditarod Worth?
2/22/2007 Sled Dog Resume
Worksheet: Resume
Worksheet: Resume Sample
2/21/2007 It’s Race Time Again
1/31/2007 Iditarod Dog Bone Math
1/31/2007 Alaskan Beanie Classification
Worksheet: Animal Information Sheet
1/31/2007 Iditarod Billboards
Worksheet: Iditarod Billboard Worksheet
1/31/2007 Trail Tails- January
12/30/2006 Husky Number Line
Worksheet: Husky Clipart
Worksheet: Number Line Pictures
12/30/2006 Inside the Iditarod
Worksheet: Iditarod 5 W’s
11/29/2006 Iditarod Polygon Vocabulary
Worksheet: Polygon Vocabulary Rubric
11/29/2006 Iditarod Suduko Puzzles
Worksheet: Iditarod Suduko Puzzle – Easy
Worksheet: Iditarod Suduko Puzzle – Medium
Worksheet: Iditarod Suduko Puzzle – Hard
10/28/2006 Arctic Days
Worksheet: Arctic Days Record Sheet
10/28/2006 Trail Mix Fractions
Worksheet: Iditarod Trail Mix Fractions Sheet
10/05/2006 Famous Sled Dogs
Worksheet: Balto & Togo – Compare/Contrast
Worksheet: Iditarod Math: Balto & Togo
9/30/2006 Husky Rice Puppies
Worksheet: Husky Birth Certificate
Worksheet: Husky Cinquain Poem
Worksheet: Husky Venn Diagram
Worksheet: Husky Journal Page
Worksheet: Husky Rice Puppy Pictures
9/15/2006 Weather Watch I
Worksheet: Weather Chart
8/30/2006 Passport
Worksheet: Passport Cover
Worksheet: Passport Page 2
Worksheet: Passport Page 3
Worksheet: Passport Page 4
Worksheet: My Route Log

Terrie’s Lessons

Terrie’s messages require Acrobat Reader
2/24/2006 Military Time
Worksheet: Military Time Worksheet
2/24/2006 Iron Will in Literature
Worksheet: Goal Setting for Success
Worksheet: Keys to Excellence
Worksheet: Lead Dog
2/24/2006 Hypothermia
Worksheet: Hypothermia
2/24/2006 Musher Circuit Training
2/24/2006 ZZZZZzzzzzzzzs
Worksheet: Study Guide
Worksheet: Application Problem
2/01/2006 Musher Nutrition
2/01/2006 Idita-Warm-up
2/01/2006 Jack Frost
Worksheet: Frostbite Worksheet
2/01/2006 Wind Chill
2/01/2006 Snow Bound – Teenagers & Survival
12/28/2005 Checkpoint Fitness
12/28/2005 A Penny For Your Thoughts
12/28/2005 Miles to Kilometers & Kilometers to Miles
Worksheet: Miles/km Worksheet
12/28/2005 Average Speed & Projected Finish Time
11/29/2005 Iditarod Trail
11/29/2005 Idita-Math Challenge
Worksheet: Grades K – 2
Worksheet: Grades 3 – 5
Worksheet: Grades 6 – 8
Worksheet: Kennel Budget
11/01/2005 Calories In – Calories Out
Worksheet: Calories In, Calories Out Journal
11/01/2005 Estimating Fahrenheit from Celsius
Worksheet: Celsius & Fahrenheit Temperatures
11/01/2005 Totem Poles of Alaska
11/01/2005 Where men are men and women win the Iditarod!
10/01/2005 Iditarod Homonyms
Worksheet: Commonly Confused Words Homophones or Homonyms
10/01/2005 Idit-Aerobics
9/01/2005 Iditarod Scavenger or Checkpoint Hunt
9/01/2005 HAW & L Check-up
9/01/2005 EIGHT Traits of IDITAROD

Husky Number Cards

Summary: 16 husky number cards help students learn number order and one-to-one correspondence.  The accompanying songs teach adding and taking away one.

Download Lesson Plan:  Husky Number Cards

Download Lesson Supplement:  Husky Take Away Song

Download Lesson Supplement:  Husky Plus One Song

Dog Bone Count

Summary:  This is a fun and easy daily station where students can practice counting and writing numbers independently. 

Download Lesson Plan: Dog Bone Count

Toothpick Experiment

Summary: Students will look for red, yellow, blue and green toothpicks distributed in a grassy area and discover that the green toothpicks are more difficult to find because they are the color of their surroundings.

Math Lessons and Activities

Math Activities and Lessons  by Kim Slade, 2007 Teacher on the Trail™

This PDF booklet contains math activities for all ages. This packet was put together in 2007 for Wells Fargo.  The packet was sent to schools in Alaska.  The lessons and activities can be easily adapted to any race year and used for any grade level.

Iditarod Teacher’s Tool by 2007 Teacher on the TrailTM Kim Slade.

Math Lessons for Any Grade Level

These lessons are in PDF format.  They can easily be adapted to grade levels.


25 Math Problems for Daily Math Created by 2008 Teacher on the Trail™ Jane Blaile

These lessons were created to be used during the 2008 Iditarod.  They can be adapted to the current race and can be used for any grade level by adjusting the level of difficulty or by providing facilitation of the math computation.


Creating a Ven Diagram Developed by 2008 Teacher on the Trail™ Jane Blaile

This lesson can be conducted with students at any grade level.  The lesson was created with 2008 race data but can be adapted to any year’s race.

A Sled Dogs First Year Developed by: by Jane Blaile 2008 Teacher on the Trail™

Discipline / Subject: math, science, social studies, art, reading – varies with activity teacher develops
Topic: the growth and development of a sled dog pup referenced to its age in its first year of life
Grade Level: 1 – 3
New Year – a sled dog pup’s first year (science)
Worksheet: sled dog pup first year synopsis
Worksheet: sled dog pup math problems


Stem and Leaf Plots:  Iditarod Data Collection Developed by Kim Slade, 2007 Teacher on the Trail™

Topic: Collecting Data, Grade Level: 4-7

Iditarod Stem and Leaf Data
Worksheet: Iditarod Basic Gear


How Much is Iditarod Worth, Created by Kim Slade, 2007 Teacher on the Trail™

Subject: Math, Language Arts, Topic: Money, Vocabulary, Grade Level: K – 3

How Much Is Iditarod Worth?
Worksheet: How Much Is Iditarod Worth?

Iditarod Bone Math by Kim Slade, 2007 Teacher on the Trail™

Topic:  Estimation, Lesson geared for grades K- 2

Lesson Summary: Students use dog bones to measure (non-standard measurement) various object in the classroom and to estimate.

Iditarod Dog Bone Math


Husky Number Line by Kim Slade, 2007 Teacher on the Trail™

Grades K- 2, Create Iditarod husky number lines and let these adorable huskies help students learn to add, subtract, and multiply.

Husky Number Line
Worksheet: Husky Clipart
Worksheet: Number Line Pictures


Iditarod Suduko Puzzles by Kim Slade, 2007 Teacher on the Trail™

Students complete Iditarod Suduko Puzzles for problem solving practice.  Easy, medium, and hard puzzle.

Iditarod Suduko Puzzles
Worksheet: Iditarod Suduko Puzzle – Easy
Worksheet: Iditarod Suduko Puzzle – Medium
Worksheet: Iditarod Suduko Puzzle – Hard


Trail Mix Fractions by Kim Slade, 2007 Teacher on the Trail™

Students gain practice in using fractions and will determine fractional parts of a bag of trail mix.  Any grade level

Trail Mix Fractions
Worksheet: Iditarod Trail Mix Fractions Sheet
Famous Sled Dogs
Worksheet: Balto & Togo – Compare/Contrast
Worksheet: Iditarod Math: Balto & Togo


View Lessons from Terrie Hanke, 2006 Teacher on the Trail at This Link!