The UP 200 is a 240 mile dog sled race from Marquette to Grand Marais and back to Marquette. The race started in 1990 and occurs each year in February. Forty sled teams, which consist of 12 dogs on each team, take off from downtown Marquette. The trail consists of "stretches of near-wilderness, creek crossings, hills and valleys, and heavily forested land" (up200.org). Mushers come from all over Canada and the U.S., including Marquette county. This event is a unique because it a qualifying event for the Iditarod, the most famous dog sled race in Alaska.
During my time as a teacher in the U.P., I decided to share local events with my students through classroom themes. In March 2010, our theme was dog sled racing. We read leveled books about Alaskan sled dogs, researched the Iditarod, and completed a read aloud of "Stone Fox," while we worked on comprehension strategies. A local musher brought in his gear and shared about life as a musher. I encouraged my students to attend the UP 200 and attended the event myself to gather pictures and information to share with my students. This unit was the most fun we had as class and the most fun I have had as teacher, even to the this day. We worked on improving our reading, writing, and math skills while learning about the local community.
Information and quote from UP200.org gathered on November 23, 2013.
Welcome to Ishpeming!
Back in the summer of 2009, I was fresh out of college and looking to land my dream job of becoming a teacher. Well, it didn't take long and I landed that dream job in a little town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This was it, the beginning of my new life as a college grad, a teacher, and now as a yooper. I knew I was starting an adventure of a lifetime. I didn't know a soul in the U.P., but that would soon change.
Ishpeming is located just west of Marquette along US 41 and it is a different world that what I was accustomed to living in downstate. The culture was different, the people talked differently, and it was a whole different landscape. However, it would be home for the next 9 months.
During those 9 months, I met some of the best people in the world who later I would consider my yooper family. They took me in as one of their own and became family. My real family was over 8 hours away, downstate, so I know I couldn't have survived without them. My next few blogs are going to be about my life as a yooper and my crazy yooper adventures. I am excited to share these adventures with you and I hope you find enjoyment in learning about the U.P. as much as I do.