For teachers looking to inject some excitement into their geography lesson, Skype might be the answer. Silvia Tolisano recently created a game she calls “Mystery Skype Call” that uses the video conferencing tool and some critical thinking to teach students geography in a new and exciting way. The game is like a high-tech version of 20 questions that pits two classrooms from across the country against each other in a race to pin-point each other’s destinations. Tolisano explains the game on her blog Around The World in 80 Schools:
“I had arranged a Skype call with Mrs. Yollis and her third grade students. Neither party knew the geographic location of each other. It was each groups’ goal to find their respective location by asking closed questions that could be answered with a “Yes” or a “No”. Mrs. Yollis had prepared her 3rd graders by distributing specific job responsibilities during a Skype call in order to work together to figure out the location of their connection partner.”
The children are broken up in to groups and given their own sets of tools and responsibilities. Students use everything from Google maps to a traditional atlas to help in their search. Check out the specific job responsibilities Mrs. Yollis gave to her students:
Watch the video to hear and see how excited the children become while playing the game!
Not only does the game ignite excitement for geography, it also seems like a great way to teach children critical thinking skills and to give them experience using a variety of research tools. If you are interested in participating in a Mystery Skype Call, check out this webpage to connect with other teachers.