Mystery Games – Asking Great Questions!

Rebecca KeelingClassroom Ideas

Mystery Games Logo

Mystery Games LogoThe purpose of Mystery Games is to help students use problem solving skills to work collaboratively to deduce an answer. Part of the process is learning how to ask “yes or no” questions. It may be helpful before playing to learn to how to create the questions so students can be better prepared during the game.

Here are some to help your students get started: (Questions that have multiple options available separated with a slash)

General Mystery Questions: 
  • Does your _________’s name start with a vowel?
  • Does your _________’s name end with a vowel?
  • Does your _________’s start with a __(pick a letter)__?
  • Is your ___________ smaller/larger than __(another animal/state/country)__?
Mystery Location Questions:
  • State-to-State Games
    • Are you West/East of the Mississippi River? (Eliminates half of the map)
    • Are you West/East of the Rocky Mountains? (Can eliminate 1/3 or 2/3 of the map)
    • Are you West/East of the Appalachian Mountains? (Can eliminate 1/3 or 2/3 of the map)
    • Does your State border a large body of water? (Eliminates half of the map)
    • Do you border Canada? (Can eliminate 1/3 or 2/3 of the map)
    • Do you border Mexico? (Can eliminate 1/4 or 3/4 of the map)
  • Global Games
    • Are you in the Western/Eastern Hemisphere? (Eliminates half of the map)
    • Are you west of the Prime Meridian and east of the International Date Line? (We had to ask the previous question this way; the world may not use the same terms we use here in the USA.)
    • Are you North/South of the Equator? (Eliminates half of the map)
    • Does your country border an ocean? (Potentially eliminates half of the map)
    • Are you in Spring/Summer/Autumn/Winter? (Pick the same/opposite of your current season to potentially eliminate half the map.)
    • Is English your first language? (May require some background knowledge to understand this question)
Mystery Animal Questions:
  • Is your animal warm/cold-blooded? (Helps classify the animal)
  • Is your animal a mammal/bird/reptile/insect/amphibian/aquatic animal? (Helps classify the animal)
  • Does your animal live in water? (Eliminates different living conditions)
  • Does your animal live in a warm/temperate/cold climate? (Eliminates different living conditions)
  • Does your animal have a long/short tail? (May help students picture the animal)
  • Does your animal have/walk on four legs? (May help students picture the animal)
  • Does your animal live in the forest/grassland/ocean/mountains/etc? (May be helpful after finding some other clues)
  • Is your animal the color _(pick a color)__? (May be helpful after finding some other clues)
  • Does your animal eat meat/plants? (Finds out if they are a carnivore, herbivore or even an omnivore)
Mystery Number Questions:
  • Is your number an odd/even number? (Eliminates half of the numbers)
  • Is your number less/more than _(pick a number)_? (Helps establish a range)
  • Is your number divisible by _(pick a number)_? (Helps narrow the number choice)
  • Is your number a prime number? (Helps narrow the number choice)

No matter what game you choose, knowing how to and asking thoughtful questions can help students succeed.

Join our In-District Class List:

If you are would like to play, but don’t know how to get started we are trying to play school vs school as a district. You can sign up for what games you would like to play by filling out our Mystery Game Form. You can view the results of those who would like to play in the Mystery Game spreadsheet. (Both of these require your district account to access.)