Screen Shot 2013-09-02 at 12.42.19 PM.png

To:K-2 Teachers
Description: In September, we would like to challenge classrooms to sign up to participate in a Mystery Skype as a way to promote inquiry in research in your classroom. The purpose is to:
  • Make connections to classrooms outside your local area
  • To explore curricular concepts in a collaborative, inquiry-based setting
  • Collaborate locally by include to your teacher librarians for their in expertise in using technology with students and completing the research.
Mystery Skype in Action: Connected Educator Series in regards to Skype
See Kim’s classroom video about how to get started with Skype, as well as Mystery Skype, including feedback from students- __
Here is also an example of first grade classrooms sharing information about their native states- __
Read about the power and impact of using Skype in an early elmentary classroom- __
Technology Needs:
  • A computer with internet
  • A webcam (most computers have them)
  • A microphone (most computers have them)

Project Details:
1. Sign up to be part of the project.__Click Here To Sign Up__!
* Sign up will end Friday, September 27, 2013 *
2. You will be paired up with another classroom. Your job is to make contact and set up a date and time for your SKYPE during the month of October. The pairings will be e-mailed to you, along with resources to begin planning your Mystery Skype connection, on or before Monday, September 30, 2013.

Mystery Skype: All About Me and My Town
Some inspiration from The Mailbox:
“To better understand how towns and states fit together, begin by sharing how communities fit together on Earth. To start, use a mapping program, such as Google Earth, to show Earth. Next, zoom in on the North American continent. Remind students that this large landform is one community we are part of. Zoom in again, to view the United States. Notice the outlines of the states do not physically appear on Earth. Continue to zoom in on our state, county, and state, and city. If you want to, zoom in on the exact location of your school. Reverse the activity to help students put together the smaller parts of the whole Earth.”
Rayl, Cheryl. "Where Are We?." The Mailbox Oct. - Nov. 2013: 50. Print.

3. Understanding how location relates to students is the first part of the Mystery Skype. That background will help students as they begin to connect with another area of the state or the country. Once you have your Mystery Skype pairing, share with students the state and neighboring states, narrowing it down to two neighboring states. By limiting this focus, the teacher has the opportunity to build background around those states.
Begin by coming up with questions you will learn about relating to all of the states you are focusing on. For example:
  • How do we travel to your state?
    • How many hours will it take to get to your state? By car or by plane?
  • What is the weather typically like?
  • If you could choose one thing that represents your state best, what would it be?
  • What is the shape of your state?
  • What makes our state most interesting?
    • For example, Iowa has rivers on both sides of our state.
    • What are favorite places to visit in your state?

4.Encourage your students to draw pictures to represents the information they will be sharing. This will be a great visual for them to share with the connecting class!

5. Once you are ready for the skype, take a look at the various __roles__ that you can assign to students to make everyone a part of the learning experience!

6. Follow up with the teacher you worked with - what a great way to form new classroom collaboration on another project!

7. Contact us to let us know how your project went! Once signed up, you will be invited to __Connected Classroom Wiki.__ Here, you can share how the project is going and resources to use with other students.
  • Bev Berns (
  • Kim Powell (