Last week we had our first Mystery Skype of the year and the children and I were very excited! We were Skyping with Mrs. Klose’s 5th grade class from Decatur, Texas which is outside of Dallas. A few years ago, I formulated 10 questions that each class asks and answers to give clues so the other classroom can take a guess. We try to give enough clues to help them guess without making it too easy. I also like to give all of my students “on screen time” during every Skype to keep them involved. So they work in pairs to gather the answers to each question. Then for every Skype one student will ask the question and the other classroom answers. After that, a student from the other class asks us the same question and my partner student answers. The first 9 questions give clues like weather info, animals you see in the wild in your area, crops, population, state symbols, one bordering state and any bordering bodies of water, famous people and places from your state, etc. Question number 10 gives school info (like name, number of students, grade level) and is shared after we guess the state. So 20 of my students get to talk when we go through the 10 questions. My last 3 students usually ask spontaneous question at the end if we have time – what are your favorite books to read, what subjects do you learn, etc. When we finish a Skype, we journal in our Skype copybook to keep track of what we learned from each experience. We also color that state in on our US map. Here are the question that we ask.
From Mrs. Klose’s class, we learned that they have armadillo, rattlesnakes, raccoon and deer in their wild! Their state nickname is the Friendly State and the mocking bird is their state bird. Crops grown in Texas include cotton, soybeans and wheat. Famous places include a Six Flag amusement park (which we also have nearby) and the River Walk. We were both able to guess the state on our first try which was pretty good! We had a great time today and we are ready for more Mystery Skypes!