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Historical Happenings in March 2022

Welcome back from Winter Break! We hope that you had a restful vacation and feel energized for the second half of this semester. In this edition of “Historical Happenings,” you’ll find resources and lesson plan ideas related to Women’s History Month and the Iditarod Trail’s 50th Sled Dog Race. Women Making HERStory

From marching for women’s right to vote to blazing a trail to the White House, these fearless leaders, innovators, and activists have pioneered the way for future generations. Teach your students about women’s victories in U.S. history, government, and beyond! 1. Compare & Contrast — Declaration of Sentiments vs. Declaration of Independence Every revolution begins with a spark, and for the Women’s Suffrage Movement, that spark was the Declaration of Sentiments. Penned by suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1848, the Declaration of Sentiments was modeled after the Declaration of Independence and was read at the Seneca Falls Convention.

Give copies of both the Declaration of Independence and the Declaration of Sentiments and ask your students to spot the differences. They can highlight the same words in one color and the terms and phrases that are different in another color. For a deeper dive into the text, ask your students:

  1. What is the purpose of each document? Explain.

  2. What can you infer about the relationship between these two documents? Cite evidence to support your answer.

  3. What is meant by “dissolve” in the Declaration of Independence? Why is that word not included in the Declaration of Sentiments?

  4. To whom is “he” referring in the Declaration of Independence? To whom is “he” referring in the Declaration of Sentiments?

2. Get ‘Social’ With Social Media (Display Boards) Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook aren’t just for sharing cute animal videos and posting your #photooftheday. It can also be a fun way for your students to connect the past to the present by making a tri-fold display board that looks like a Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram profile page for a notable woman from history. Ask them to imagine what types of photos, videos, and Tweets she would post if she were alive today. Encourage them to put themselves in the person’s shoes and write captions or Tweets from her point of view.

Each student can pick someone to research, and then they can choose a social media platform to emulate the look of on a tri-fold display board. The photo of the person they studied and a brief description of them would go on the board as their “bio.” For Instagram, photos and/or paintings of that person with captions can be glued to the board. For Facebook and Twitter, “posts” on the board can include images, status updates, and comments from people in history they knew.

Our 1000 Readers and Biography FunBooks make great resources for researching notable women throughout history. 3. Go on a (Virtual) Field Trip While taking your class on a field trip to a museum in another state may not be feasible, you can view the same exhibits online. The National Women’s History Museum and the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum offer dozens of exhibitions on topics ranging from women in literature, science, politics, and sports. “Let’s Go!” Sled Dogs Leading the Way — Iditarod’s 50th Race, March 5, 2022 If you’re a child of the ‘90s (or had a child growing up in the ‘90s), chances are you’ve seen the 1995 film Balto. This heartwarming animated movie tells the true story of a sled dog named Balto who led his team through Alaska’s wilderness to deliver life-saving medicine to the children suffering from diphtheria in Nome in 1925. The bravery displayed by Balto, the mushers, and their sled teams as they relayed the serum over 1,000 miles in sub-zero temperatures along parts of the Iditarod Trail is commemorated every March during the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race was started March 3, 1973, by Dorothy Page (known as the “Mother of the Iditarod”) and Joe Redington, Sr. (referred to as the “Father of the Iditarod) to preserve the Iditarod Trail. The Iditarod Trail was created in the early 1900s as a route for mushers and their sled teams to take for delivering mail and supplies to settlements and towns along the way. Originally, the trail started at Seward and ended at Nome. Today, the race begins near Anchorage and follows a route to Nome that alternates each year—the Northern Route in even years and the Southern Route in odd years.

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is celebrating its 50th race this year on March 5, and it’s a great time to teach your students about the trail’s history and Alaska’s geography.

Teaching Resources: 1. Mush Madness STEM Project by Iditarod EDU — Combining STEM, March Madness basketball brackets, and the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, students are challenged to build a sled and then compete in a tournament (complete with brackets) to see whose sled is the fastest.

2. Mushing Terminology by Iditarod EDU — Learn the commands mushers use with their sled dogs, like “Come gee! Come haw!” and “Hike! All right! Let’s go!”

3. Dog Sled Craft by Gallopade International — Using craft wood sticks, pipe cleaners, glue, toothpicks, and wire cutters, students can make their own miniature dog sled.

4. Iditarod Trail Coloring & Activity Pages by Gallopade International — These activity pages are a fun way for students to learn more about the “Last Great Race.” For more resources related to Women’s History Month and Iditarod, be sure to check out our Women’s History titles and Iditarod titles.


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