Friday, January 17, 2014

Mystery Skype

The world felt a little smaller today. Rather than simply studying geography and practicing map skills in our classroom with books, globes and maps, we made it come alive with our first ever #MysterySkype! This is a guessing game that was invented by teachers in which two classes ask questions of one another until they guess the location of the other class. I've never seen students so engaged and excited to put their map skills to the test. We started by introducing ourselves and then alternated asking yes or no questions of each other. Are you east of the Mississippi River? Do you border the Atlantic Ocean? Do you have a lot of snow? Does your state have a mountain range? Do you border Canada? Are you in the Northeast? Once the students felt fairly confident that they knew the state of the other class, they made a guess. Our first class was in Massachusetts! When guessed correctly, the kids cheered as if their home team had just scored the winning touchdown! In all my years of teaching, no one has ever cheered when they got a correct answer, let alone a whole class. A lot of learning took place today, but this activity wasn't just a geography lesson, it was synergy! It was a classroom of kids working together for a common goal. It was realizing that there are students elsewhere in this world that are in school learning just like them. Social Studies definitely came alive today! This may have been our first #MysterySkype, but it certainly will not be our last!