Or, click here to play a much larger higher quality 118M M4V in your browser (if it does it) or right click to save it down to your hard drive for workshops or playing offline; or right click to save the FLV.

Sample Visuals
Visual clues can really make a difference in note taking if we have audio problems. Often students read clues too fast and quiet for other students to write them down. So the best solution is to include visual clues to accompany your presentation. This is HIGHLY recommended.

Posters are the easiest way to share a visual clue but can also be the most difficult to show effectively in a videoconference. In presentations where the other class is taking notes, clear posters are crucial. Even in presentations where the partner class is listening, it is still very frustrating when posters aren’t clear. Placing a poster on an easel keeps the poster still and is therefore easier for the other class to see it. Make sure the font is large and easy to read.
• Your poster should only include information that is needed to answer the MysteryQuest questions. All extra information should be presented separately.
• Bottom Line: Large text, strong contrast with no light colors for lettering, and very large pictures or drawings. Huge thick lines for drawing and writing are best. Test your poster by holding it up; across the room to see if you can still read it. Have students read their part off of the back of the poster instead of the front. This makes it easier to hold the poster still (if not using and easel.)

Use the Poster Handout to give to your student groups to assist in making their posters.

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Document Camera
Many videoconference systems include a document camera. You can put 8 1/2 by 11 pages (landscape) on the document camera to share clues. Ask your distance learning or technology coordinator if you have access to a document camera. You may want to consider setting presets so that you can switch between the students and the document camera.
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With the document camera, it comes through best if you stack the clues and then pull the top one off. This reduces the blurry transition time.

If you're really up for using technology, ask your distance learning or technology coordinator if you can hook up a computer to your videoconference equipment. Make sure you use large letters. Avoid red. Dark backgrounds with contrasting light text works best. If possible, test the PowerPoint ahead of time to make sure it can be read.
You may want to consider some plan so that we can see the students, then the PowerPoint, then the students again. Or show the PP as a review at the end of your presentation if there is time in your allotted 5-7 minutes.

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Background Sets
Some classes like to design elaborate sets for their presentations, which are very visually appealing. Here are some examples:
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News shows are always fun, especially when complemented by visuals to review the clues. This class, from Western Hills, El Paso, did a news show. In this shot, the announcer is in a helicopter!!! How cool is that?!
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This is an example from New York State of a background that gives clues at the same time as providing a set for a new show.

Other Creative Clues

Clues from Hunter Elementary, Fairbanks, Alaska in 2007.
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Climate clue for Alaska: Land + midnight + sun. Get it?

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Alaska's time zone clue: EST -4; CST – 3, etc.

Math and Geography Clues from St. Thomas Aquinas School in Wisconsin in 2007.
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Deal or No Deal Game Show by Sylvester Elementary, Berrien Springs, MI, in 2007
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Rhyming Clues
Pennfield Central Elementary, Pennfield, MI, integrated their poetry unit into their MysteryQuest USA presentation. Here's a sample of their rhymes:

  • All of our clues are going to rhyme
  • And we’re all going to have a great, great time.

  • Goods are not just imported by train,
  • They are also imported by semi and plane.

  • The population is more than eleven.
  • But a whole lot less than one thousand seven.

Organizing Your Research Time
These pictures are from Pine River Elementary. They give a great flavor of what the research portion is like in the classroom. I especially like the picture of this strategy of having a wall or whiteboard or place to write the guesses for all the schools. It gives a focal point to the research. See how the students are working there:
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Revealing Your Answer
A visual aid for revealing your answer is also a nice touch, especially if your city has a long and complicated spelling. A visual with a map is great too!