MysteryQuest


A "MysteryQuest" is a specific videoconference collaborative project made popular by Janine Lim at Berrien RESA between 2002 and 2011. Please visit the History page to learn more about how this developed.

In a MysteryQuest videoconference, 2 - 6 classes connect together to share clues about geography, history, or other content; and then research to find out what the other classes presented. Here are some of the different agendas used in MysteryQuests:




Original 2.5 Hour Agenda
(used by LearningSpace and the first
middle school world geography sessions by Berrien RESA)

  • 10 min. Introductions and Videoconference Directions (moderated)
  • 50 min. Classroom Presentations (5-7 min. each for 6 presentations)
  • 30 min. The Quest: Locating Sites. Classrooms divide into 5 teams to pin-point the mystery locations presented by the other 5 classrooms. During this time each team will come up with one yes/no question to ask each of the other classrooms.
  • 20 min. Question and Answers: Be prepared and efficient! This section will be tightly moderated.
    Classroom 1 answers all questions.
    Classroom 2 answers all questions.
    Classroom 3 answers all questions.
    Classroom 4 answers all questions.
    Classroom 5 answers all questions.
    Classroom 6 answers all questions.
  • 10 min. Classroom teams 'reevaluate' their answers.
  • 10 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 10 min. Correct mystery locations revealed by each classroom.
  • Congratulations and sign-off.
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2 Hour Agenda for 4th-5th Grade US Geography
  • 5 min. Introductions and Videoconference Directions (moderated) (NO SCHOOL INTRODUCTIONS as some people are presenting their actual location).
  • 55 min. Classroom Presentations (5-7 min. each for 6 presentations)
  • 30 min. The Quest: Locating Sites (Classrooms divide into 5 teams to pin-point the mystery locations presented by the other 5 classrooms. During this time each team will come up with one yes/no question to ask each of the other classrooms.)
  • 10 min. Question and Answers: Be prepared and efficient! This section will be tightly moderated. (Classroom 1 answers all questions. Classroom 2 answers all questions, etc. )
  • 10 min. Classroom teams 'reevaluate' their answers.
  • 5 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 5 min. Correct mystery locations revealed by each classroom.
  • Congratulations and sign-off.



1 Hour Agenda for Middle School World Geography with 4 classes max
  • 1 min Intro & Directions (no more school intros; you can add two sentences max to your presentation if you keep the total to 7 minutes or less)
  • 4 groups x 7 min presentations = 30 min. for group presentations
  • 15 minutes for research (can use computers from the start)
  • We're SKIPPING the Q&A and re-evaluate to increase the pressure, make it harder, and make it shorter.
  • 5 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 5 min. Correct mystery locations revealed by each classroom.

Note: World geography has more required clues than the HistoryQuests

45 min. HistoryQuest8 with 4 classes max

  • 1 min: Intro & Directions
  • 20 min: 4 classes do 5 min presentations or (25 min for 5 classes)
  • 15 min: Research and solve (students can use computers from the start)
  • 3-5 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 3-5 min. Correct history mysteries revealed by each classroom.

no Q&A to make it harder!



1.5 hour Agenda for 5th grade HistoryQuest with 4-6 classes
  • 5 min. Introductions and Videoconference Directions (moderated)
  • 30 min. Classroom Presentations (5 min. each for 5-6 presentations)
  • 20 min. The Quest (Classrooms divide into 5 teams to pin-point the mystery clues presented by the other 5 classrooms. During this time each team will come up with one yes/no question to ask each of the other classrooms.)
  • 10 min. Question and Answers: Be prepared and efficient! This section will be tightly moderated. (i.e. Classroom 1 answers all questions; classroom 2 answers all questions; etc.)
  • 5 min. Classroom teams 'reevaluate' their answers.
  • 5 min. Each classroom presents their guesses to the clues.
  • 5 min. Correct mystery answers revealed by each classroom.
  • Congratulations, goodbye cheers, and sign-off.

Point to Point MysteryQuest
  • 5 min. Welcome and introductions. Each class shares their location and brief information about their school.
    Visuals: Use document camera or PowerPoint to share a few local pictures of interest.
  • 15 min. Clues presentation. Each class shares a 5-7 minute presentation of clues.
    Visuals: Skit, iMovie illustration, or PowerPoint with digital pictures, posters with large letters.
  • 20-30 min. Silence on the videoconference. Each class works busily solve the mystery or guess the event, person, location.
  • 20 min. Answers and discussion. Each class presents their solution and discusses the answer with the other class. Students can ask each other questions regarding the problem solving process and content. If extra time, students may enjoy asking each other questions about their respective locations and schools.