Digital Mysteries: Flooding in Bangladesh is a unique app in allowing pairs of 11-16 year olds to work simultaneously on one iPad with a task designed to encourage discussion and higher-level thinking around the geography curriculum.
The process users go through is based on the popular paper tool 'Mysteries', created by Professor David Leat and the Thinking Through Geography team in the 1990s. Users are given illustrated slips of information based around Saied, a 31 year old farmer who lives on the Ganges Delta in Bangladesh.
Saied is trying to work on the fertile lands of the delta and bring up his young family but is struggling to pay his house insurance. The main aim of the mystery is to identify the main causes of river flooding in Bangladesh. Both physical/environmental causes are identified as well as human change of the natural environment.
There are 31 slips of information provided in this task on the highest difficulty level. On Medium, there are 28 and on Easy, there are 24. As well as a different amount of information provided, the difficulty levels also mean that more or fewer hints are included too.
Students must read all the slips, organise them into groups and then sequence them to represent their thought pattern in coming to an answer. A PDF report is generated which can be printed off or shared as a record of learning. Students can also go through the Reflection Stage in which they can playback the process and reflect on their ideas.
There are extras to the task including suggested sub-questions for teachers to ask, as well as these possible learning outcomes:
• Identify the difference between cause and effect
• Understand the differences between a human and physical cause
• Explain the causes of river flooding in Bangladesh using key terminology
• Consider why people choose to live on the delta
• Consider the options available to the people and government to protect from the impacts of flooding
The mystery can be used by 11-14 year olds to identify the causes and effects of flooding as well as being developed as a case study of flooding in a Less Economically Developed Country (LEDC) for 14-16 year olds.
What is different about Digital Mysteries?
• Truly collaborative: It is unique in that more than one student can interact with it at once
• Trusted learning model: The ‘Mysteries’ format has been popular in classrooms for years and is known to boost many skills
• Curriculum-mapped: Tasks are directly mapped to the National Curriculum for England
• Record of learning: Students can interact and have fun with exciting technology then generate a printable PDF report which shows what they’ve done
• Retention: Working with information from two different perspectives (grouping, then fitting into a sequence) ensures students remember more
• Higher-level thinking: The multiple discussion points, combined with the task’s open-ended nature, leads to students developing these skills
• Reflection: Sessions are recorded so students can play back and discuss what they’ve done, emphasising the importance of the process as well as the outcome
• Engagement: Mysteries split bulks of information into short snippets which makes it more digestible, plus working with peers leads to higher engagement
How can I try other mysteries?
At the bottom of the app details tab, tap ‘Developer Apps’ to view our current range.
Fixed compatibility issue.
Up to six family members will be able to use this app with Family Sharing enabled.