Alaska races sled dogs.
In Maryland we race horses.
Alaska has stories about heroic dogs.
We have stories about heroic horses.
My school and I wanted to send greetings to the schools along the trail as a way to kind of let our schools meet each other and to show a connection between schools that are so far apart, and yet have so many commonalities.
My boys and I have been talking all year about the similarities and differences between Alaska and Maryland. While there are obviously many, many differences, we did find several similarities. Alaskans race sled dogs. There are different styles of racing dogs – sprint, marathon, etc. There are many sled dog races throughout the state, the biggest one obviously being the Iditarod. Here in Maryland, we race horses. There are different styles of racing horses – speed, agility, steeplechase, sulky, etc. There are many tracks and many races in Maryland, the biggest being the Preakness which is a part of the Triple Crown. We have also learned the names and stories of many of the dog heroes of the Iditarod Trail.
Here at Gilman, we all know the story of one particular horse hero above all others. We all know the story of Goliath, one of the brave horses who helped saved the city during the Great Baltimore Fire. We all know the story, because one of our very own teachers, Claudia Friddell, researched and wrote a picture book telling Goliath’s story.
So, naturally, Goliath: Hero of the Great Baltimore Fire became the perfect good will wish to send down the Iditarod Trail. This week, each of my third graders paired with one of Mrs. Friddell’s first graders to write a letter to accompany a book down the trail to a new school.
We hope the students will enjoy learning about one of our heroes as much as we have enjoyed learning about theirs!