Mystery Call – Part 2

Excited and engaged. That is the best way to describe the 4th graders during our recent mystery call.  Students were assigned a variety of roles including researching, keeping track of questions and answers, photographing and videotaping, and managing a map to keep track of the remaining possible states.

Everyone was able to see the other class projected on the SmartBoard.












The researchers used Chromebooks to look up any information we need.  Which states are considered southern?  Which states contain mountains, deserts, or ocean borders?

Using Chromebooks to research

The map keepers crossed off states that were not possibilities based on the answers we received.  When we had narrowed it down to just a couple of states, the students determined new questions to ask that were specific to what we had left.













There was great excitement when we guessed Texas and when they guessed Wisconsin!


After the game, we had a few moments to share a little more about our school and state.  The students in Texas were just amazed that it was snowing at that exact moment.  The teacher later told me that they were still talking about it as they left for the day.











The first mystery call was a success, but afterwards, the class reflected on what we could do better next time.  We decided to take turns asking questions instead of making that a job for just a couple of of students.  We quickly learned that most students were eager to be on camera and interact with the other class, so taking turns asking and answering questions would give more students that opportunity.

We also decided that we came to the correct answer too quickly!  We only had to ask about five questions to get there, and it made the game very short.  We wanted to learn more about the mystery state through the game, so next time we will start with different questions that don’t eliminate so many states at once.

Interested in having your students connect with other classrooms?  Mystery calls are one option, but there are many possibilities.  Classes can collaborate around a topic or project and provide feedback to one another or book discussion groups can be extended to include students from a different background.  Building a professional network is vital to finding these connections.  Check out this post for some ideas on how to do that and contact me if you’d like some support getting started!


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