Mystery Hangout

Student tasks:

Greeter -1 student – Does exactly that: greets the incoming class by speaking about our class and going over the rules.  Once their job is done they merge into the think tank.

Questioner – 1 or 2 students – they are the kids that ask the yes or no questions, often it is beneficial if these kids have a decent grasp of geography and can come up with questions on the fly.

Filter – 2 kids or more – These kids act as a filter between the runners and the questioners assessing the questions that are coming their way.  They have to pay close attention to what answers are and what has already been asked as the think tank often misses an answer.  They can then use their common sense to filter the best questions to the questioners.

Answerer – 1 student – answers yes or no to the questions and should have a good grasp of geography.

Runners – 3 students – the runners are responsible for communication between all of the different posts and often wear signs or their shirts to identify them.  We love the runners because they keep the chaos down.

Google Mappers – 2 students – Use Google Maps to try to help with questions or find the answer.  Should be connected to think tank.

Wall map & atlas mappers – as many kids as you want – part of the think tank but are using any map tools they can to come up with more questions.

Lead thinker – the boss of the think tank – this kid needs to be a gentle leader that can keep everyone organized and on track.  They ensure the think tank runs smoothly.

Supervisor – 1 student – this student oversees the entire operation and takes notes on what works and doesn’t work.  They lead the debriefing we have after every Skype call to discuss what we need to work on and be proud of.

Note taker – 1 or 2 students – writes down all answers and questions during the call for easy access by filters and if any confusion occurs.

Tweeter – 1 or 2 students – these students are in charge of the backchannel whether through Twitter or TodaysMeet and add the extra layer of connectivity to the world live tweeting results and questions.

Reporters – 2 students – these two take pictures and notes throughout the call to then write a blog post on our classroom blog after the call is done.  That way we can show off all of the great calls we get to be a part of.

Closer -- 1 student -- this person says farewell to the others and thank them for their participation.  

Mystery Location Preferences:


·        Begin with Greeters introducing themselves and saying a short welcome


·        Yes/No questions only


·        Alternating questions back and forth, regardless of the answer


·        Questions asked until country, state and city/town is located


·        No limit on number of questions


·        Clues or hints can be asked for after 10 questions


·        Directional answers are verified before responses are given to other class- prevent mistakes that inhibit accurately attempting to locate town/city


·        Wall maps, state maps,  atlases, computer searches and Google maps are all allowed


·        You may NOT Google search the teacher’s name


·        Once locations are found for both sides and if time allows our Closers will share some information about our schools and states/areas and ask some questions from the other class

Possible questions for a country-to-country Mystery Hangout:

1. Which continent are you in?

2. Any oceans or bodies of water bordering your country?

3. What time is it where you are right now?

4. Name one country that borders your country.

5. What are some physical features of your country?

6. What is the weather like right now?

7. What type of animals are in your area?

8. What are the major crops or industry in your area?

9. What are some famous places and tourist attractions in your area?

10. What languages do you speak?

After guessing the mystery locations you can ask:

1. What is the name of your school?

2. Where is your school located?

3. How many students in your school?

4. Does your school have a motto?

5. What do you like about your school?

6. Where do you go on vacation?

7. What languages do you speak?

8. What kind of music do you like?

9. What do you do for fun?

10. What work do you want to do as an adult?

(Sources: Annabelle Howard + various sources in the Mystery Hangout group)