We have been fortunate enough to host one of the Iditarod Traveling Quilts for the first month of school. The Traveling Quilt program began when the first quilt was created in 2005 and since then has grown to 11 quilts that zig zag the world bringing the race and its ideals to more than one thousand students a year.
The timing of the quilt’s arrival in our classroom was perfect as we were able to use the travels of the quilt as we learned and practiced using latitude, longitude, and map scale. We located each of the quilt’s stops on a US map. I’m not sure if you’ve ever used National Geographic’s Interactive Map Maker, but it was perfect for this project. http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/mapping/outline-map/?map=USA&ar_a=1
I pulled up a one page US map that I could personalize on the Smartboard. We were able to drop pins on the quilt’s stop and then use the scale to calculate the estimated distance traveled. When we did all of our calculations, we were surprised to see that our quilt will actually travel about five times as far as the Iditarod itself! I’ve attached the geography sheet that goes with Quilt 11 and a blank one if you are hosting one of the other quilts.
In order to share the quilt with other classes in my school, I asked for volunteers to serve as Quilt Tour Guides. Interested boys filled out an application, and once selected, they worked together to plan their presentation and then took their show on the road to kindergarten, third, and fourth grade classes in the building. They were really proud to become experts and share their knowledge with others!
If you are interested in finding out more about the quilt program, check out the Traveling Quilt Blog here: http://travelingquilt.com/