4th Grade Reading Comprehension

Free printable reading comprehension stories with a sports theme. Print the reading passage for offline use or test comprehension with the fun online quiz game. Recommended level: 3rd or 4th Grade and up

What Is the Iditarod?

The Iditarod is a dog sled race that takes place in Alaska every March. The Iditarod trail is 1,050 miles long and goes from Anchorage to Nome.

In 1925, 20 dog sleds traveled this trail to deliver life-saving medicine to sick children. It took them only 6 days to reach Nome. The Iditarod race is held in memory of that event.

The first Iditarod was held in 1973. The winner of the race took 20 days to complete the journey. These days, the winner does the race in less than 10 days. Racers have cell phones with GPS and other high-tech equipment to help them through the difficult trek.

The driver of the sled is called a musher. Each musher has a team of dogs that pull the sled across frozen rivers, snowy ground, and steep mountains. Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies are the most common sled dogs. Mushers begin with a group of 30 dogs and pick the best 12 to 16 to compete in the race.

Some animal protection groups say that the Iditarod is cruel to the sled dogs. Sometimes dogs die during the race because they are pushed past their limit. The Iditarod Committee says that they carefully watch the dogs. They suspend any mushers who mistreat their sled dogs.

The word Iditarod comes from an Athabaskan Indian word pronounced "Hi-dit-a-rod." It means "a distant place."

Source: What Is the Ididarod?
©Courseware Solutions for Fun English Language Arts Learning

What sort of race is the Iditarod?
dog sled
dirt bike
dog sled What is the dog sled driver called?
a driver
a coach
a musher
a musher When was the first Iditarod race?
1973 During which month is the Iditarod held?
March What is the start city for the Iditarod?
Anchorage In what city does the Iditarod finish?
Nome What does Iditarod mean?
a distant place
a long trail
a dog path
a distant place What happened in 1925 that inspired the Iditarod race?
The trail was discovered.
A man with a dog sled traveled the trail in 10 days.
Dog sleds used the same trail to deliver medicine.
Dog sleds used the same trail to deliver medicine. Why are some people against the Iditarod race?
The weather is much too cold.
Some dogs are mistreated and pushed too hard.
There are dangerous polar bears on the route.
Some dogs are mistreated and pushed too hard.

©Courseware Solutions for Fun English Language Arts Learning