Our First Mystery Skype


On Friday, Mrs. Raffel’s library class Mystery Skyped with a class in Nebraska!

Mystery Skyping is when one class skypes another class and you have to figure out what state they are skyping from.

The last time Mrs. Raffel’s class came to library, they researched the answers to ten questions about Washington.

They would be sharing this information with the other class during the skype session.

3 Interesting Facts

Time Zone

Famous People

Climate of the state

Famous Landmarks

Vacation Places

Bordering States

Capital city


Our students took turns sharing facts about each others’ states. As the students learned a new piece of information, they used their almanacs, USA map and time zone map to narrow down the choices.

 After all the facts were shared, the students had one chance to guess which state the other class was from.

Our students said, "Nebraska!"

We all learned new information about Nebraska and Mrs. Geldes’ class. You can visit her blog here. For example, there is a large Air Force base in Nebraska. We also found out that the name Nebraska, means “flat water” in the Oto Indian language. Former President Gerald Ford was born in Nebraska. It’s very cold there in the winter and very hot in the summer.

EnchantedLearning map of Nebraska.

Nebraska is is divided by two time zones: Mountain Time Zone and Central Time Zone. Mrs. Geldes’ class was in the Central Time zone, which meant they were two hours ahead of Pacific Time. The fact that confused us the most was that Nebraska has the largest indoor rainforest. Since Washington has a large temperate rainforest on the Olympic Pennisula, it was curious to us that they had an indoor rain forest!

After we each guessed correctly, we spent a couple minutes sharing answers to other questions. We all found it funny when we found out their school was in Bellevue, Nebraska when our town borders Bellevue, Washington!


Following our Skyping session, we spent a few minutes reflecting on the experience. All agreed that it was a really fun way to learn about geography.

“It was a cool experience to find out where someone lived with the rest of the class.” ~ Kobe

“I like seeing another class from another state. It kind of feels fun talking to a class that about 750 miles away from you.! ~ Georgia

“It was fun to learn about their mystery state and about their school.” ~Kaylee

“I knew what state it was on the famous people question!” ~Natalie

“It was kind of scary because we had no clue who you guys were!”  ~Haley, Erika & Eduardo

“I thought it was amazing! I never ever met some people in another state. I wish we can do another Mystery Skype!” ~ Erika

“It was awesome! We thought it was nice talking a 3-state away classroom and searching through the almanac.” ~Niku & Jack

“It was weird talking to a different class. It was really fun as well! “ ~Irislyn & Taylor

“It was fun learning new places and facts in Nebraska. The fun part was being able to talk with another school!” ~Mark

“It was nice to Mystery Skype!” ~ Eric


What did you learn about Nebraska?

Should we try Mystery Skyping again?

Have you ever skyped with another classroom?


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4 thoughts on “Our First Mystery Skype

  1. Enjoying your blog very much. How do you find a cooperating school for mystery Skyping? I love the concept but am not sure how to communicate with another school that is interested. Thanks so much!

    • Dear Denise,
      Thank you so much for visiting our blog! There is a wiki for Mystery Skyping:http://mysterystate.wikispaces.com/
      You can visit there and set up connections. I would love to MS with you, however, I am in the middle of big projects right now. Plus, my Skyping computer is in the stop for repairs.
      Shall we try to set up for April?
      Julie Hembree

  2. Julie-
    I am a media specialist (K-5) in Newnan, GA and am in the planning process for next year! I really want to incorporate skyping next year as the possibilities seem endless. However, my ETS says my current computer hooked to my activboard is too old to handle Skyping. I can bring in my own laptop, but then I am not sure how to set it up to the board. I noticed you use a laptop. Can you tell me how you set it up with your activboard? How do you handle the sound? Very excited to do this!
    Thanks for the inspiration, and the wiki address abovetoo!
    Shannon Ewing

    • Dear Ms. Ewing,

      I do use my laptop for Skyping and I hook the cord that normally goes into my document camera, into the laptop. Then I turn the power source on the remote for the activboard on. Instead of powering up the computer that’s hooked up, I power the document camera. However, because my laptop is now hooked up, it now shows through the screen.Does that make sense?
      Let me know if I need to give more specific directions. I can help you troubleshoot the process.
      Mrs. Hembree

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