On 17th November 2017, students of classes 2,3, 4 and 5 took part in a video conferencing session titled Mystery Skype. This is a critical thinking challenge that students take part in as they Skype with peer group from elsewhere in the world. It is a challenge where both schools attempt to assess the other’s location (country) based upon a set of questions framed to help arrive at an accurate assessment. The race is to be the one to guess first!

Mystery Skype is an educational game, created by teachers. The students guess each other’s location using a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question format and an atlas. This time the session was organised by a school in Skydra, Greece.

The purpose of this game is to create a global community of learners who develop critical thinking, listening and communication skills, scale up their Geography skills, cultivate the ability to apply resources to find information and create partners for future projects.

At about 3.30 pm a group of students greeted us on the skype. As mentioned above, the exercise is a guessing game, in which both teams ask each other open-ended questions. On the basis of these questions, each is supposed to guess the other’s home country.

Are you near the Equator?
Are you in the Northern Hemisphere?
Are you from Europe?
Are you near the Mediterranean Sea?

After a few questions, the group across inquired if we had any guesses to make. Our first guess was Greece, and voila, it was correct! Their guess that we were from India was correct too!
After the game, both groups animatedly exchanged information about native festivals, food and heritage landmarks in their respective countries. Our students told their Greek counterparts about the pollution holidays in Delhi! This left the latter astonished as the prospect was alien for them.

While we spoke about celebrations like Independence Day, Holi, Diwali, Onam and so on, the Greeks told us about how they celebrate Christmas, Easter and also fly kites on certain festivals.

We told them about the Indian palette and the diversity of our cuisine. In fact they seemed delighted to know about “pani puri”! They seemed to know about biryani and kebabs.

We learnt about their food too. They showed us pictures of beef soup, pita bread, and a baked savoury called Tapsi.

Landmarks in both our countries are beautiful, as concluded after we exchanged notes and photographs of the we Qutab Minar, Taj Mahal, Red fort, Hawa Mahal and so on. They showed us pictures of the Parthenon in Athens, the White waterfall, the Greek national flag etc.

Soon it was time for the groups on the other side to leave for home. Both teams reluctantly said adieu after a fun filled and educative interaction.

We taught our partners to greet with a ‘namaste’. In turn, we too learnt to greet with ‘YEIA” which means hello in Greek. Bye in Greek is “Avtio” which is goodbye in Greek.

Long after the session too students were heard trying to perfect the pronunciation of the new words they had learnt!

Ms. Yahvi Seth.