Dear Fellow Teachers,
Several years ago, I was given a group of seemingly random picture cards, containing images from all over the world. Being a new social studies teacher, I found many of these places facinating. It was a collection of ancient sites, modern construction, historically significant locations, and natural marvels.
I wanted to share these places with my students, but most were not part of my curriculum and I didn’t really have the time to teach things not on my state-constructed list of standards. That is when I developed the “Mystery Location”.
The original format has gone through many changes over the years, but the idea is the same: Taking a few minutes each week to expose my students to amazing places and architecture that they might never hear of otherwise. I have found that doing this initiates some great conversation. Additionally, many of these sites can be tied to my curriculum of ancient history and world religions. It can also bring in some unusual vocabulary discussions, science and even math!
Currently, I use these pictures to challenge students. In return, they can earn bonus points for my class. Each week starts with a new picture and a clue. I try to choose something relatable to what we are discussing in class. I add a clue each day until Friday. Students record these clues on a special page in their notebooks (included in this packet). On Friday, if a student has used the clues to figure out the “Mystery Location”, they fill out a slip (also included) with the site name and the city and country of its location. On the following Monday, the answer is given and discussed before we study the new picture.
In this file, you will find forty-five 8 x 10” beautiful color pictures, four clues for figuring out each picture, and a key (organized by continent location). All images were found online and cited according to their image use policy. All clues have been checked through multiple sources. I do alternate between using dates with BC/AD and BCE/CE in order to continually review their meanings with students.
I hope you and your students find these places as interesting as I have!