What is a Mystery Hangout or Skype? 

When two classrooms meet via video conference and try to guess each other's location through a series of eliminating yes/no questions.

All About Mystery Hangouts

Quick Recap to Show Students

Another Quick Recap to Show Students

Yet Another Quick Recap to Show Students

Another Great Mystery Example

Students Talking About Mystery Hangouts

Mystery Skype 4th Grade

What to do Before:

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • Time Difference
  • Student Map Skills in the younger grades. (You may want to run a practice guess session before your first Mystery or younger grades can participate in a number mystery.)

Things to discuss with Mystery Partner before hand:

  • Date and time

  • Do you want to start globally or just USA?

  • At the end, do you want to try to narrow it down to the town, share interesting state and school facts, and/or have a Q & A session?

  • Do you want to get in touch another time for another project, like monster match?

Student Jobs During the Hangout: 
(There is no right or wrong way to run this in your classroom. Choose what jobs work best for your students or have no jobs at all with everyone working together.)

1. Greeters - It is a choice whether you want to have the greeters on camera throughout the whole event or not. The Greeters, as their name implies, greets the other class and fills in during down time with a joke or two. Runners bring answers and questions to the greeters to say to the camera. Or the greeters can be just that, to greet the other class and then other students can get some camera time. It is good to have greeters no matter which format you use (whole group vs. small group jobs).

2. Recorder - Another important job to have no matter what format you are choosing. In order for students to know what questions have been asked by your students and what the answers were, a student should log Q&A for students to check back on throughout the Mystery. Can use shorthand like (Touch Ocean - yes... Northern Hemisphere - no)

3. Think Tank - The students in the think tank can be made up of two teams. 1. Creating questions to solve the mystery and 2. answering questions of the other classroom. Within the think tank there can be several different jobs assignments like; atlas workers, google map workers, recorders, and/or think tank captain.

4. Runners - Runners go back and forth between the greeters and the think tank bringing the questions and the answers for the greeters to say out loud to the camera.

5. Reporters - Students take photographs and/or video recordings of the event and then write up an article that will be posted on the class website or blog. Reporters could also tweet about the event as it is happening.

What to Do After the Mystery is Solved:

1. Allow both classrooms to figure out each other's location.

2. Share interesting facts about your school or state.

3. Have a Q & A session to find out a little more information about each other, like favorite things to do in school, weather, school day length, etc.

4. Debrief with your class and talk about what went well and what may need to be done differently for the next Hangout.


1. Great LiveBinder covering
Mystery Hangouts
3. Mystery Hangout Community

Second Grade can handle a Mystery State game if well trained, but there is an option for 1st and 2nd grade classrooms that have not learned enough geography yet. Example video below.