Mystery Hangout/Skype is a critical thinking challenge that your class takes part in while connecting with another class somewhere else in the world. The goal is to guess the other school's location (country, city, school name) by asking only yes and no questions before they guess yours!
Finding partners is as easy as Tweeting someone you know who is involved in these or searching the G+ or Microsoft community.
When preparing students, consider the following:
- Be sure students know about your area so they can answer the questions accurately.
- Practice question asking skills - general vs. specific.
- Practice Map use (atlas or digital maps).
- Consider a practice Hangout or Skype to ensure technology is cooperating.
- Prepare a shared document for note taking. (Consider Google Docs,, Forms and Sheets.)
- Determine and assign roles for student during the chat.
- Co-create guidelines for video call etiquette (include don’t wear any clothing that could give away your location (i.e., sport team hat/shirts).
- Do a practice session with the teacher acting as the other class. This allows for discussion and feedback.
The benefits for doing Mystery Hangout/Skype are plentiful, and include:
- Authentic purpose for research
- Challenge-based learning
- Opportunities for collaboration & communication globally
- Creates a global community of learners
- Creates partners for future projects
- Supports critical thinking practice
- Opportunity to improve listening & speaking skills
- Supports student-led learning
For more information, check out my one pager!