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Yukon Quest Reading Challenge

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Nancy Dilley from Minneota Public Schools, Minnesota share her school wide "I Love the Read" month activity.

The objective of this reading game is for the students to challenge the Yukon Quest teams to the finish line. A team or class of students must read faster than the mushers and their dogs can travel down the trail.

For Primary (Gr 1-3) purposes, 10 minutes of reading is equivalent to a kilometre (or mile) of travel.

For Intermediate (Gr 4-7) you can use a scale of 10 pages per Km/mile.

Materials needed:

  1. List of Yukon Quest mushers (Yukon Quest Official Musher List)
  2. Map showing the route of the Yukon Quest (Map)
  3. List of distances between checkpoints (Distances)
  4. Teams or classes of children One of the students on each team should be able to collate the daily results of the team's reading minutes. Team sizes may differ depending upon the grade level involved.
  5. Parent or other responsible adult to verify reading times each day.
  6. Arrow shaped pieces of tag board with the names of the Yukon Quest mushers being challenged.
  7. Dog shaped pieces of tag board, in a contrasting colour, with the names of the team leaders. (dog)
  8. Reading Log Sheet (PDF files). (Quest-a-thon)


  • Students read at home, parents verify and initial amount of time read.
  • Students bring log page to their team leader (musher) each morning to tabulate their team's progress.
  • Teacher confirms total.
  • Musher, team and teacher together move the tag board dog for their reading team, as well as their Yukon Quest team for the corresponding day. This requires information from the radio, Yukon Quest Office or Internet (Yukon Quest) This activity has them listening to the morning news or accessing information from the Net each day.)
  • If possible, students also collect newspaper articles and photos of their musher to be posted around the outside of the map. 

On alternate years, students are keen to go to the finish line as they know a lot about their particular Yukon Quest team by this time. This is an example of my grade 6 class following all of the mushers on the trail. We choose to "Read to the Finish", the challenge was to have 1600 dogs up by the time the Race finished..............we did it!