It was such a fabulous learning opportunity, I was eager to get involved in another one as soon as possible!
We set up some guidelines for our Mystery Skypes and students were assigned roles. We had greeters, questioners, answerers and closers and every student was a researcher. To begin the activity, our assigned greeters said hello and welcomed the other Mystery Skype classroom. The purpose of our Mystery Skypes was to figure out what state the other classes were located.
Students took turns asking yes or no questions like, "Does your state border another country? Is your state west of the Mississippi River? Was your state one of the original thirteen colonies?"
Students worked in small groups using portable devices and maps to answer questions about our state and also eliminate the states that based on the clues, couldn't be where our Mystery Skype class was located. As we went along, we got better at answering in complete sentences. "Yes, our state does begin with a vowel. No, our state is not part of New England."
After each class guesses the correct state, the closers take some time and and give the other class some facts about our state, school and class. I couldn't believe the tremendous learning the occurred during each Mystery Skype! Students worked collaboratively, had to communicate effectively, do research, use geography skills, and use deductive reasoning. Throughout both our Mystery Skypes, I saw almost 100% engagement! Watch the video below to see our first Mystery Skype in action!