Successful Short MysteryQuest Format

Last summer, in the Jazz workshop, my middle and high school teachers helped me brainstorm a tighter schedule for MysteryQuests that would fit into an hour. The schedule would be:

  • 4 groups x 5 min presentations = 20 min. for group presentations
  • 15 minutes for research (can use computers from the start)
  • SKIP the Q&A and re-evaluate to increase the pressure, make it harder, and make it shorter
  • 5 min. sharing guesses
  • 5 min. sharing answers

The differences between this and a regular full MysteryQuest are less research time,  shorter presentations, and no Q&A clarification time. I also do not include any time to ask for clues to be repeated. You have to hurry with your note taking to get it the first time.

Students researching the presentations. (The carts with name tags for were for their game show.)

Today we have our first two MysteryQuest World Geography sessions with 4 and 5 classes each. (Last week’s sessions only had 2 classes, which makes it way easy to fit into an hour, but isn’t as challenging for the students.)

  • I love it when the MysteryQuests are hard enough that not all the groups get the all answers. Recently with the long format, they were guessing in 15 minutes when we had 40 minute research time. Tightening up the schedule has made it challenging again. Yay!
  • It only took 5 minutes to share guesses, answers, and do a little cheer to say goodbye. So I gave the students 20 minutes research time instead of 15.
  • It seems that (knock on wood), our technical difficulties are much less these days. Less need to repeat clues, clearer audio & video. All this decreases the amount of time needed to budget for problems.

By March 1 (if not before), I’ll have registration and wikis up for the spring quests: HistoryQuest8, MysteryQuest USA, and HistoryQuest 5. I hope you can join us for one or more of these MysteryQuests!

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