Ed Tech Tips with E. Mosier

Make your classroom more E-fficient!

Give Your Class the "5 Clue Challenge"


If you're wanting to change up your lesson plans to engage students a little bit further, check out the "5 Clue Challenge." In short, it's a mystery clue type game that is similar to a "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego" setup. Instead, this is the brainchild of Mr. Mike Soskil, an educator and author from Pennsylvania. Mr. Soskil films himself at various locations and students try to guess where he is, based on the 5 clues he provides them. The amazing benefit to this challenge is that it can be done in print, and in several different subject areas.

The Process

As stated, Mr. Soskil travels around the world for speaking arrangements and participating in many conferences. But, while he is there, he posts videos of either the city, or landmarks around the city by providing 5 clues to get you to guess where he is. If you get the location correct on the first clue, you get 5 points. If you get the location correct after the second clue, you get 4 points, and so on. You're allowed to pause the video after each clue to do a little research if needed. The clues get progressively easier as more are revealed, making this a fun and engaging activity. There are numerous videos on the website for you to better understand this challenge.

The 5 Clue Challenge in the Classroom

Recently, I decided to give this a try with my Computer Applications students, and they loved it! I did not physically send them on vacation, but rather created a Google Doc template where they determined 5 facts about a location and then disclosed the location below the facts. I then took those clues and turned some of their locations into a Google Slides presentation, and we played the "5 Clue Challenge" in class using the locations they had selected. Their locations were widespread and definitely well thought out after doing their research. The engagement was high and the competition was tense as they attempted to guess the location on the first or second clue. This was a very successful project that I look forward to assigning again in the future.

The 5 Clue Challenge in Different Subject Areas

The 5 Clue Challenge in Social Studies

The most obvious location for this project to be assigned is in Social Studies. As the original method goes, picking a location of study and providing 5 clues to attempt to have students guess them would be the easiest integration. But, this could be done for ancient landmarks from various civilizations, presidents of the United States, or even branches of government.

The 5 Clue Challenge in Language Arts

Another subject that this would be a seamless integration into would be Language Arts. Students could be provided 5 clues to determine a character in a novel, or even the setting of a story. Or, as a summative project about the books that were read throughout the class time. Even as a vocabulary review if roots or prefixes and suffixes are being studied, reviewing them using the 5 clue challenge would certainly deepen their understanding.

The 5 Clue Challenge in Science

The most obvious use for the 5 Clue Challenge in science is for an element on the Periodic Table. Or, there could be clues given to figure out a famous scientist. Or, students could figure out a mystery animal or habitat (as the videos on the 5 Clue Challenge website show). However, this could also be used for lab write ups, lab safety, or anything involving steps in a process.

The 5 Clue Challenge in Other Subjects

The great thing about this challenge is the flexibility of it and the fact that it can be incorporated into so many different subject areas. There are a few examples of this:

Art: Use the 5 Clue Challenge to determine a piece of art, or an art technique that is being taught. Or, simply for portions of the color wheel or shades of color.

Music: One idea for music is that of a famous composer, or even a selected musical time period. Or, as is in the videos on the website, pick a band or a song and provide clues for students to guess.

Health / PE - Offering clues on the history of sports would be a great review and use of the 5 clue challenge. Or, develop facts about personal health and wellness. Or, students could develop a 5 clue challenge on being drug free. The possibilities for the integration of the 5 Clue Challenge are plentiful mo matter what grade level or subject you teach.

Contact Mr. Mosier!

Have a question about a tip, trick, or tool? Have an idea for a future Ed Tech Tip newsletter? Send it along!