Monday, March 17, 2014

Iditarod Unit Study

We took a week and a half off of our regular My Father's World curriculum to study the Iditarod.  The Iditarod is a 975 mile sled dog race across Alaska.  We had a lot of fun!  I tried to include all subjects during our study.  Both kids made posters with all the information they were learning.  Above is Caleb's poster, and below is Rebekah's.  We used the Iditarod website every day to check updates on race and follow our favorite mushers (I even splurged to become an Insider so we could see all the videos!).  We all picked our own mushers to follow before the race began.  My musher won!  Rebekah's came in 2nd, and Caleb's came in 3rd.

We read a lot of books and watched several movies about the Iditarod, sled dogs, and Alaska.  We didn't get to all of the books in the picture, but we looked at most of them.  The read aloud book I chose was Julie of the Wolves, which we really enjoyed.  Although parents beware, there is a couple paragraphs about why she ran away from her husband that need parental discretion.  In 1925, a few children in the town of Nome came down with diptherea.  The only way to get the vaccine to save the town was for some heroic dogs and mushers to deliver it.  The Iditarod is run in their honor.  We read about the sled dogs of that run, Balto and Togo, and then watched the Disney movie, Balto.  (The movies is not accurate at all!)  Our favorite movie was a 2008 documentary called "Iditarod".  It followed a few mushers for the entire race.  Some of the mushers in the movie were competing this year as well.

I taught the kids what a Haiku is, and then we tried to write our own.  I had to help them a lot, but they liked clapping out the syllables.  Below are drawings they did to illustrate their Haiku's.  The first one is Caleb's.

I also had a lot of copywork for them to do.  These were part of a unit study I got for free from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  We talked about what qualities a good musher needed to have, then we read and discussed several bible verses that taught us about good character.  Hebrews 12:1 was our main verse though.  We want to finish our race to heaven strong!

The unit study from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine also had a few fun pages included that we did together.

For science, we learned about the different types of dogs, looked at the parts of a sled, and tracked the weather of Nome versus our hometown.  It was colder in our hometown than it was in Alaska at the start of the race!  At the end of the race I helped Caleb make a line graph so we could compare.

Besides the graph, I found some Iditarod themed math fact sheets for Caleb.

The race is 975 miles, so I had both of them count out 975 beans!  Caleb has been learning about hundreds in his math lately (Singapore 2A), so this was a perfect exercise.

Caleb also found some time to build with Legos!

This was a really great week.  I'm so thankful that I get to homeschool my children and take time to do things like this!

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