On Friday, we had a quasi-Mystery Skype Call with Melvina Kurashige’s Grade 6 class in Hawaii. A while ago, Melvina saw my tweet about our Math Art Projects, and it reminded her of a teapot project that she did with her class. She thought that she could send us a teapot, and the students could construct a box to send it off to another class. Our next math unit has students exploring volume, so this aligns well with that.
While we were both intrigued by the typical Mystery Skype Calls, we didn’t think that we had the time to have the classes go back and forth with the “yes/no questions.” My students are also just starting to explore mapping concepts as part of our latest Social Studies Unit, so I wondered if I had taught enough for them to be successful. This is when we thought of our own Mystery Skype idea: have each class give five clues about where they live to the other class. Students can then use the clues and their resources (i.e., the Internet, books, and atlases) to guess the location of the other class.
My class decided to create a Google Form with all of our clues, post the form online, and invite others to vote for their favourite clues. The top five clues are the ones that we shared during the Skype call. Students loved this option, and they were all very excited to Skype on Friday afternoon.
The Mystery Skype call though took a bit of a twist when both classes worked outside of the clues to guess the locations.
My students used the teacher’s name on Skype to track down her Twitter account, and from there, her location. The students in Hawaii used the Canadian flag that was hanging in the background as a good clue that we were in Canada. Go figure! 🙂 I was intrigued by the creative problem solving, but this also concerned me, as I really wanted the students to use the clues to guess the location (as we are working on inferring in class, and this would be great for inferring), and this never truly happened.
Have you experienced something similar before? How would you keep a Mystery Skype a “mystery?” I would love to hear your ideas!