Digital Mysteries: Cup and Ring Marks is a unique app for 7-11 year olds which allows pairs to work simultaneously on one iPad, solving a historical ‘mystery story’. They must discuss and collaborate along the way.
The task is mapped to the history curriculum and can be used to support the topics of any of the following: Neolithic, Bronze Age, traditions, pre-history.
Children are introduced to ‘cup and ring marks’ via several slips of illustrated information which feature a variety of themes. One of the main themes to this mystery is the history of Neolithic and Bronze Age people. The students must sort through the various statements together to come up with an answer to the question “Why did Neolithic and Bronze Age people carve cup and ring marks into rock?”
Users move through an easy-to-follow, three stage process – they must first read through slips of illustrated information, organise them into groups, then move to the final stage where they lay out the slips in a chain and use sticky tapes and notes to help make sense of everything. Although the question is open-ended, students learn lots of useful information along the way, all while developing key skills of collaboration and problem-solving.
During this mystery the children learn about the Neolithic and Bronze Age traditions. The children learn when the cup and ring marks were created and how they could have been made. After this the children learn about the possible significance of the shapes and how they could have been used. Children can come to their own conclusions about the mystery of the cup and ring marks.
There are three different difficulty levels on this mystery. To change the difficulty, go to the Settings menu. On 'easy' there are 15 slips, 'medium' there are 19 and 'hard' there are 24. A different set of hints on grouping and sequencing ideas are provided in each level.
Following this process, students can then go through the Reflection Stage. This allows them to play back what they have done, discuss their choices and share with others what they thought during the process and whether after reflection, they still think the same. This can be done alone, in their groups, with their teacher or as a whole class. A PDF report is also generated as a summary of the session, and is available to print or share.
Some specific learning goals of this mystery are:
- Begin to develop an understanding of Neolithic and Bronze Age traditions
- Learn about when cup and ring marks were created
- Read about and discuss how cup and ring marks could have been made
- Learn about and debate the possible significance of cup and ring marks and why they may have been used
How can I try other mysteries?
At the bottom of the 'app details' tab, tap ‘Developer Apps’ to view our current range. At the moment, there are apps for computing, history, geography, maths, science, citizenship and two bundles: Shakespeare and primary computing. Many more are coming soon (see www.reflectivethinking.com/mysteries for future tasks - contact us to request a specific mystery).
To see a video of Digital Mysteries being used by two students, please go to bit.ly/viddm or to see two students talking about solving one of the tasks, go to bit.ly/DMTvid.
Minor bug fixes
Up to six family members will be able to use this app with Family Sharing enabled.