Week 3 of Mystery Class (Journey North)

Kai and I have been working on a project that I heard about over on Life on a Canadian Island. She’s got a WONDERFUL post on her (older) blog telling you all about how to get started. The project, “Mystery Class”, involves tracking daylight at your home city and ten other mystery locations, along with receiving clues at/from the website, to attempt to locate ten mystery locations.

Working on the Mystery Class (Journey North) Project

We’re using the graph slightly different than they typically do on the Mystery Class website, but I like this way better, especially for younger kids (Kai is five).

Working on the Mystery Class (Journey North) Project

While we’ve been doing this project, Joe and I have been reading books to Kai about seasonal changes, daylight, time, etc. We’ve talked about geography, including the north and south poles, the Equator, and the hemispheres.

Working on the Mystery Class (Journey North) Project

Kai says the string in the middle is the equator.


Now that we’re up to three weeks of data, Kai’s been able to see some patterns. He can see that light has been steadily increasing or decreasing but that, in some areas, though it is consistent, there is very little change.

Today, I challenged him to see if he could predict, based on what he knew, what hemisphere each site belonged in, based solely on light changes. He knows that we live in the northern hemisphere, that we’re steadily getting more daylight each week, and that everything that is also getting more light each day should be in the same hemisphere. He also knows that seasons in the southern hemisphere are opposite ours and so that means the light should be decreasing each day. Using all of this knowledge, he picked out which ones he thinks belong in the northern hemisphere and which ones he thinks belong in the southern hemisphere. He picked out where he thinks they belong by himself. The only thing I had to help him with were the ones that did not have much change in light one way or another and all I did for those was help him look closer (I did not provide the answer for him).

So, here are Kai’s predictions.


Working on the Mystery Class (Journey North) Project

Aside from home, he thinks numbers 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 10 are all in the north.


Working on the Mystery Class (Journey North) Project

He thinks numbers 2, 4, 6, and 8 are all in the south.

After working on the project today, Kai wanted to make a video. He combined some of what he’s learned working on this with part of what he’s learned about the solar system. We had a few inaccuracies, which we talked about afterwards, but he has the overall concepts. I’d rather he get the concepts than the numbers, so I’m not complaining!

This was taken in one shot, no practice, no working together on what he was going to talk about beforehand. (In completely related news, I think I’m going to have to get a tripod one of these days. Sorry about any camera shake.)

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