Pre-race Learning Activities

Literacy

Our pre-race literacy activities include:

  • Daily read-alouds from Hank DeBruin and Tanya McCready-Debruin's book Iditarod Dreamer  (available in print and e-format via the Winterdance website)

  • Write `friendly letters`to Hank DeBruin, to wish him well on the race
    Our letters to Hank

  • Using information provided on the Yukon Quest website and a search of other available information on the web, write a point-form mini-biography of one musher who is entered into this year's Yukon Quest
    Student summarizing musher biography
    Student summarizing musher biography information
    Musher Biographies
    Musher list and five of our twenty-five mini-biographies
    Musher Mini-bio template
    Template for musher mini-biography

  • Have pairs of students read the Yukon Quest Guide for Rookie Mushers, summarize what they think are the main ideas (i.e. the most important tips and rules for rookies), and develop a group consensus about important tips  (Grade 6) 
    Important tips by pairs of students
    Lists of important tips created by pairs of students
    Grade 6 consensus
    Grade 6 consensus re: most important tips for rookies

Yukon Quest Musher Math!

These are some of our pre-race math activities:

  • Convert food data supplied by the Winterdance race team from pounds to kilograms and calculate how much food each dog and the team will require for particular aspects of the race (e.g. per kilometre of travel, overall, etc.)
    Converting food amounts to metric Calculating how much each dog will need
    Converting to metric amounts Calculating how much each dog needs

  • Calculate how many dog boots the entire team will need for the race, using information about requirements per mile, per dog, supplied by the Winterdance race team
    Grade 5`s and 6`s each try the problem Some Grade 5`s come up with an alternate way to solve the problem
    Grade 5`s and 6`s each try the problem Two Grade 5`s solve the problem another way

  • Using musher data on the Yukon Quest website, create a set of three circle graphs `roughly` depicting:  male VS. female mushers, veteran VS. rookie mushers, Canadian VS. American VS. other mushers (Grade 5)

  • Using musher data on the Iditarod website, :  create a set of three circle graphs 'roughly' depicting male VS. female mushers, veteran VS. rookie mushers, Canadian VS. American VS. other mushers (Grade 6)

  • Use the data from the previous exercise to compare the demographics of Yukon Quest and Iditarod mushers
    Students on the Iditarod site researching mushers
    Students researching mushers on the Iditarod website
    Students summarizing Quest musher data
    Students summarizing Yukon Quest musher data
    Yukon Quest musher data
    Yukon Quest musher data
    Iditarod musher data
    Iditarod musher data and comparison information


  • Using the checkpoint distance chart from the Yukon Quest website, analyze the distances between checkpoints along the trail (mean, median, mode and range of distances to be travelled)  (Grade 5)

  • Using the checkpoint distance chart from the Iditarod website, analyze the distances between checkpoints along the trail (mean, median, mode and range of distances to be travelled)  (Grade 6)

  • Use the data from the previous exercise to compare the Yukon Quest and Iditarod trails
    Students using our website to access information
    Students using the class' Yukon Quest page to access trail information
    Yukon Quest Trail "by the numbers"
    Yukon Quest trail "by the numbers"
    Iditarod and Quest trail comparison
    Yukon Quest and Iditarod trail comparison


  • Go to the past race results section of the Yukon Quest website and calculate the average speed of the fastest and slowest mushers to complete the 2010 Yukon Quest.  (Grade 5)

  • Go to the the past race results section of the Iditarod website and calculate the average speed of the fastest and slowest mushers to complete the 2010 Iditarod.  (Grade 6)

  • Use the data from the previous exercise to compare average speed along the Yukon Quest and Iditarod trails.
    Iditarod and Yukon Quest musher speed comparison

Science

  • Explore the impacts of extreme cold temperatures on the human body.  Suggest items a musher should carry in his sled, to ensure that he or she and the dogs survive periods of 24 hours or more between checkpoints on the trail.  Compare your list to the list of required and suggested items posted on the Yukon Quest website.  (Grade 5:  relates to their unit on Human Body Systems)
    Grade 5 Gear List
    Grade 5 Gear List
    (with a photo of some of Hank's gear)

  • Analyze how dog sleds handle the forces that act upon them.  Compare traditional dogsled designs with those of modern racing sleds.  Suggest reasons why changes in design and materials may have been made.  (Grade 5: relates to their unit `Forces Acting on Structures.`)
    Students researching dogsled types
    Students researching dogsleds

Social Studies

  • Research Aboriginal culture and lifestyles in the Yukon prior to the Gold Rush of 1898.  Research how the Gold Rush affected aboriginal culture.  Create a chart comparing various aspects of pre- and post- Gold Rush Aboriginal life in the Yukon.  (Grade 6:  ties into their larger study of Aboriginal culture in Canada)

Art

  • Study the culture and work of a variety of Aboriginal artists (including those from Canada`s north and west coast) and the significance of the symbols they include in their work. 

 

 

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