Have you ever Wordled?  This is a fun, easy website to use for students and teachers.  Just go to the Wordle website.  Click “Create” and type in the vocabulary you want as a list.  Once you click “Go” you will have created a piece of vocabulary artwork.  Students can change fonts, colors, arrangements, etc.  It’s fun just to play around with.  I use this with books as well as Science and Math units.

Click on the full lesson that includes an Iditarod Wordle.  IditarodWordle

The Dog Traits lesson has been updated with the correct XX and XY chromosomes.   :-)


It has been pointed out to me that my last posted lesson plan has an error.  The XX and XY for male and female dogs is mixed up.  I’ll change it on the lesson plan and repost, but can’t do that until Sunday when I’m back on my own computer.  If you’ve already printed the lesson, just change it.  Sorry about that!

In the meantime, our friend and fellow teacher Angie Taggart finally got the snow she’s been waiting for.  Looks like her dogs are excited and ready to go.

Dog Traits

I have this mantra about lesson plans – steal . . . ahem . . . borrow and tweak.  This lesson is an example of my mantra.  At the Winter Conference for Educators last year, Sid Lucas, a High School teacher from Kiel, Wisconsin, presented a lesson about genetics.  Seeing the value of the lesson and realizing it was too advanced for 3rd graders, I stole . . . ahem . . . borrowed Sid’s lesson and tweaked it for 8 year olds.  In class, we discussed the traits of sled dogs as we looked through the book Dogs of the Iditarod by Jeff Schultz.  The next step was creating our own sled dog.

With the shake of the dice, students had a 50/50 chance of getting a male or female dog.  After that the odds changed for different traits.  Once they had their traits and shaded in the Trait Wheel, we compared dogs.  Were there any dogs exactly the same?  Exactly opposite?  It was a fun discussion.  Next their creative juices kicked in.  They had to draw their dogs with the traits they had.  It was a great activity and, without realizing it, students learned many things about the traits of sled dogs.

Dog Traits Lesson Plan

Also look for Sid Lucas’s lesson in the Science section at Iditarod.com.  It’s not posted yet, but will be there soon.

Problem Solving

I love logic puzzles, therefore, my students learn how to try to solve a problem without giving up.  Attached are a few puzzles we use in the classroom.  Puppies in a Pen teaches congruent shapes. We are currently taking the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam, our “high stakes” state test.  This was a good activity to get students’ brains turned on.

With Dogs In A Pen Lesson Plan, students have to think outside the box.  Have fun and don’t give up!


L Is For Iditarod

Are you wondering how to introduce the Iditarod Vocabulary into your classroom?  Try this activity.   A is for Iditarod lesson

It is a play on the book  Q Is For Duck:  An Alphabet Guessing Game by Mary Elting & Michael Folsom.  The book is simple enough to read and students pick up on the play of words and try to predict what is coming next.  I’ve done this the last couple of years and students are very clever with this word riddle.

Use the attached activity sheet or create your own.  Have fun!  Alphabet Template