Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Yukon Sled Dog

Elliott, Mark (Illustrator)
Amazon 2013. 32 pages
First published: 2013
ISBN: 9781477817315 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Yukon is the only female husky pup in her litter. Her trainer, Roberta, sees her potential to lead the Alaskan dog racing team. “Sled dogs must love to run. Sled dogs must be strong. Sled dogs must obey commands. Sled dogs must get along with teammates.” This feisty, high-energy pup seems to fit the bill, so training begins for her and her siblings. After two long years, they are finally ready to race. Will Yukon be able to stay focused and get across the finish line?

This story is told in a clear, present-tense, third person voice. We follow Yukon as she trains on a running wheel, romps in the woods and learns commands. She develops and tests her muscles, first with a harness and rope, then with a light log tied behind her, and finally in a team with a sled “heaped with rocks.”

Realistic pencil illustrations are digitally coloured and focus on the relationship between Roberta and Yukon; the spirit of teamwork and working hard for results is the clear takeaway message. Roberta is proud of her dog team when it places second (after nearly getting distracted by a hare).

The story’s restrained tone reads like non-fiction and the author’s detailed notes at the back affirm that the content is indeed based on fact.

  •  

    Explore teacher-selected resources (such as a video) about the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race. Discuss and list the qualities you think a sled dog might need to possess. Add to and revise your list as you read.

  •  Use a graphic organizer to compare and contrast the lifestyle and training of a pet dog and a sled dog.
  •  

    Choose a scene from the book, such as Yukon’s first hike or the big race. Write a descriptive paragraph from Yukon’s point of view.

  •  As a group, brainstorm your prior knowledge about dogsledding.
  •  

    As the book is read aloud, take note of the dogsledding vocabulary and add to a class list. In small groups, find ways to organize this vocabulary. Compare your word groupings with other teams.

  •  

    Compare and contrast the lifestyle and training of a pet dog and a sled dog. Use a graphic organizer to show your results.

  • To adopt effective work methods
  • To use information
  • Environmental Awareness and Consumer Rights and Responsibilities
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Physical Education and Health