Learning Activities During the Race

These are some of the learning activities we are engaging in during the Yukon Quest 1,000 mile sled dog race, from Whitehorse, Yukon to Fairbanks, Alaska.  The 2011 race begins on February 5th.  It will probably last between 9 and 14 days.

Literacy

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

  • Yukon Quest Reading Challenge!:  Beat the Winterdance Race Team to Fairbanks, by completing 1,000 minutes of reading before they can complete the 1,000 mile trail.  (Post-race update:  Students read for a combined total of 35,941 minutes during the reading challenge!!!!  They have asked if they can compete in an Iditarod challenge too!  See "Post Race" section for more details...)
    Reading Challenge Tracking Board
    Student name cards

    This is our Reading Challenge Tracking Board.
    The race checkpoints are listed on the left,
    and are spaced appropriately according to
    their actual distances along the trail.

    A picture of Hank and the dogs is used to
    indicate their position along the trail, in miles.

    Each student has a picture of the dog above,
    with his or her name written on it, to indicate
    his or her position along the trail, in minutes
    of reading completed.

    If a student reads for more than 1,000 minutes,
    his/her dog is given "a ball" (sticker) for each
    1,000 minutes he/she has read.  Three of the
    dogs in the picture have obtained one or more
    "balls" in this way, and when the picture was
    taken Hank was only in Carmacks!

    The board is updated daily throughout the race.

    Students record their daily reading
    on this template.

  • Trail Summary:  Choose a two checkpoints on the Yukon Quest trail.  Using the elevation graphic and trail description provided to mushers on the Yukon Quest website and information gleaned from the Yukon Quest flyover simulation page, create a point-form summary of the geographic features that mushers can expect to encounter on that particular section of trail.  When the Winterdance Team reaches the section of trail a particular student summarized, we will post his or her summary in the hall beside the map we are using to track the race.  (Grade 5)
    Elevation Graphic
    This interactive graphic on the Yukon Quest site provides elevations and
    information about each checkpoint.
    Flyover Simulation Page
    The Yukon Quest Google Earth 3-D Flyover Simulator provides a written
    description and a view of the terrain between the checkpoints on the trail. 
    There is also a written guide to the trail in the mushers` section of the
    Yukon Quest Official Website.

  • Dog Team Facts:  Choose one of the following topics:
    --sled dog types
    --positions in the sled dog team
    --food and water on the trail
    --running and resting during a long race
    --Yukon Quest checkpoint procedures
    --dogs that need to withdraw part way through the race
    Research the topic using internet resources.  Share your jot notes with another student who researched the same topic.  Work together to develop at point form `Important facts` list.  Lists will be posted on our Yukon Quest display.  (Grade 6)
    Students researching checkpoint procedures
    Students researching Yukon Quest checkpoint procedures
    Dog Team Facts

Yukon Quest Musher Math!

  • Temperature Graphing Activity:  Using Environment Canada and US Weather Service data, graph the high and low temperature in Whitehorse, Dawson City and Fairbanks daily.  Calculate the temperature range for the past 24 hours at these locations. (Grade 5)

  • Temperature Graphing Activity:  Using Environment Canada and US Weather Service data, graph the high and low temperature AND windchill in Whitehorse, Dawson City and Fairbanks daily.  Calculate the temperature AND windchill range for the past 24 hours at these locations. (Grade 6)
    Interactive Checkpoint Topo
    This interactive topographic map on the Yukon Quest site provides
    links to temperature data for the checkpoints (needed for this activity)
    and updates on the progress of mushers (needed for the following activity).
    "Hank's Weather"
    "Hank's Weather" (weather at the checkpoint nearest his location)
    is posted by the tracking map, daily.
     
    Checkpoint Temperature Chart
    Checkpoint Temperature Graph
     Blank templates of the chart and graph are available on the Yukon College
    Quest Student Website
    Creating temperature charts and graphs 
    Student creating Hank's high/low temperature tracking charts and graphs
    Temperature tracking charts and graphs
    Charts and graphs for comparing daily temperature
    ranges where Hank is with where we are

  • Track the Winterdance Team`s progress daily, as they travel along the trail.  Calculate their total miles covered and the miles they have yet to complete.  (Grade 5)

  • Track the Winterdance Team`s progress daily, as they travel along the trail.  Calculate their total miles AND percentage of trail covered and the miles AND percentage they have yet to complete.  (Grade 6)
    Distance Chart
    This distance chart on the Yukon Quest site provides distances between
    checkpoints in both miles and kilometres.
    Yukon Quest Current Standings Board
    The Current Standings Board on the Yukon Quest site is updated regularly during
    the race. (NOTE: The example above does not reflect actual race statistics.)
    Musher Tracking Sheet
    Students record the statistics for each musher on this form.
    A blank template is available on the Yukon College Quest Student Website.
    Distance calculations
    Distance calculations are added to our tracking map daily 

Science

  • Find out when sunrise and sunset occurs, in Whitehorse, on the day the race begins.  Use this information to calculate hours and minutes of daylight.  Continue to collect sunrise and sunset data for Whitehorse, throughout the race and calculate how much the hours and minutes of daylight change each day.  Figure out why this change occurs.
    Sunrise/Sunset comparison charts and graphs
    Charts for comparing hours of daylight in Dawson
    City and where we live, throughout the race
     

Social Studies

  • Plot the Winterdance Team`s progress on our tracking map, daily.
    Student looking up Hank's location
     Student looking up Hank's location on the Yukon Quest Live Tracking Map
    Student Updating the Tracking Map
    Student updating Hank's location and travel statistics on our tracking map.
    A blackline master of this tracking map is available
    on the Yukon College Quest Student website.

  • Research the history of dog sledding in Canada: its importance to Aboriginal cultures and importance to European settlers in the north.  Describe how the advent of roads and snowmobiles changed the role of and need for dog sledding in Canada`s north.  (Grade 6:  ties into their larger study of Aboriginal culture in Canada)

Art

  • Create an original piece of northern-themed art, emulating the style of a favourite Aboriginal artist.

 

 

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