DEN Community Connections: Mystery Skype!

Discovery Education Community members are connecting with one another in a number of ways- in person at our annual DENSI summer conference & DENapalooza events and virtually, during DEN VirtCon and Virtual field trips. Recently a number of educators have been connecting in the DEN Friends Facebook group to schedule a Mystery Skype with their classes.

Mystery Skype is “the global guessing game that gets kids learning about geography, culture, and the similarities and differences of how children live all over the world.”



Keep reading to learn how Discovery Education Community Members from around North America are connecting with other classrooms- get inspired to participate with your class! 



We have added 8 pins this year, spanning 4 countries and over 24 000km!! My students as soon as they see my laptop know we have a Mystery Skype call and get very excited!! They love the interaction with the other classroom and are keen to spot clues for give aways such as Lindsay Foster saying “Y’all” my kids said muct be the south, or Audra Barton in a sun dress and all the kids in shorts meant warm! or Philip Nottingham and his class full of accents!  We have skyped with 5 fellow DEN classrooms that I met at DENSI and three others!

We are trying to make it around the world, using the circumference of the earth in distance to strive for, we are already over half way there!!

-Erica Phillips, Grade 4, Nova Scotia


Want to learn more about Mystery Skype? Check out Erica’s Google Sides- you’ll also find sample questions and student jobs:

We created this board by using an old school overhead projector and projected a map up on the wall onto bulletin board paper. We traced all the states and then cut out each state and then traced them onto scrapbook paper. We decided to laminate the states to insure longevity and to be able to use from year to year! We pieced back together the map on the large bulletin board in the our Media Center for all classes to see. When we complete a Mystery Skype, Author Skype or Expert Skype, we write a blog post on our website. We then make a QR to that blog post and print a picture and add it to our map! Our goal is to connect with someone in every state by the end of the school year! We’ve connected with Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Texas! When students come to the Media Center to check out books, they can scan the QR code with their iPads and read about the different experiences!

-Ann Crilley,K-5 School Based Technology Facilitator, North Carolina

globe-100Ann’s Class Website:




I love having my students Mystery Skype because they use higher order thinking skills to solve where the other class is located. They also become more familiar with geography while working together as a team. Plus, it’s fun!

Shelby Bailey, 3rd Grade, Missouri

Connect with Shelby & her class on Twitter @tech_shelby





Skype Edie Blog2We display our adventures in Mystery Skype in a few different ways. The first is a map in our classroom. For each place we visit, we add a tack, a name tag, and a string connecting it to us. The students love looking at the map in the classroom and pointing out the new places they’ve learned about, remembering the accents of the kids that we’ve met, and reveling in their victories (they are a tad bit competitive). Another way we display our travels is on our class website. On the site, visitors can track our travels on a Google Map, see our win/loss record, check out the classes we’ve visited, and see pictures we’ve taken along the way. It is a great way to get parents involved and to make the connections more lasting for the students. Best of all, the students are learning; patience, map skills, critical thinking, logic, and best of all, the ability to communicate in a respectful way!

Edie Erickson, 3rd Grade, Michigan

globe-100Edie’s Class Website:





SkypeShareJennifer2After each Skype call, the students write in their journal what they learned about the state and I randomly choose a student and we include their entry on our class website. We also have a map hanging on our wall, the students love to track our progress!

-Jennifer Zolikoff, 5th Grade, Arizona


Jennifer’s class website:


FolderIconLooking to get started with Mystery Skype in your classroom?
Explore the resources, below!



Resources from Mystery Skype:

Access a Free Mystery Skype Notebook (for Office 365 users) OR Mystery Skype Curriculum (for non-Office 365 users)

Connect with other Mystery Skype classrooms to schedule a meeting!

Looking to connect with another Discovery Education Community member?
Check out the DEN Friends Facebook Page for others who are participating! (tip- ‘search’ the group for the word Skype)

mysteryskype den friends