I wasn’t planning to write another science-related post, but I discovered a free resource you are going to want to start using ASAP. Have you heard of Mystery Doug? I probably wouldn’t have known who he was except that I’m using Mystery Science as my main science curriculum for this school year. (Shout out to my teacher-buddy Carol for hooking me up!) What with all the changes to my state standards, I needed a new resource fast – Mystery Science saved my bacon! Well, Mystery Doug is a related resource that is quick and fun. It’s also easy to use so I knew I just had to share!
Who Is Mystery Doug?
I could explain who Mystery Doug is to you, but I’m going to go fix a cup of coffee and let Doug introduce himself to you in this short video…
Okay, so now that we’re all asking ourselves the question, “Where has this man been all my life!?” let’s talk about what you need to do to get started. First, sign up! It’s free, but you will need to create an account so they can email you each week’s video. I LOVE having the weekly video sent to me via email! Just be careful that you don’t accidentally delete the email if you’re like me and love to purge your inbox regularly. If you do happen to hit delete a little too fast, not to worry. You can go to the Mystery Doug YouTube channel and watch the video from that source. You might also want to subscribe if you prefer to get your weekly video that way. The last thing to decide is when you will show the video to your students. Our science time this year is first thing after our morning routine. However, one day a week during this time, I am required to have a Class Meeting, which naturally cuts our science lessons short. Fortunately, the Mystery Doug videos are only a few minutes in length so we can still sneak in some quality science instruction. Mystery Doug for the win!
How to Use It
The easiest way if you’re just beginning to use Mystery Doug’s videos is simply to press play and watch it with your kids. However, if you want to give it a little more structure, here are some suggestions based on how I use it with my students.
- Assign students a partner (science buddy) and have everyone seated so they can see the video. Students should have a pencil and clipboard, which they will use after watching the video.
- Press play and listen to when Mystery Doug suggests you pause to discuss what’s been shown so far.
- At the discussion point, I have students do a Think-Pair-Share about what Mystery Doug has asked us to talk about with our partners.
- Watch the remainder of the video. At the end, Mystery Doug will ask kids to vote from one of three choices for next week’s video. Once you have determined which question the majority of kids in your class has chosen, click the link on your computer.
- Finally, I like to close by asking students to write some facts they have learned from watching today’s Mystery Doug video. This is where the pencil and clipboard come into play – either use the free printable included at the bottom of this post, or just have kids write on a piece of paper.
That’s it! The videos are great quality, and my students really enjoy watching them. Plus, there’s practically no prep work for me. Sweet!
A few last-minute suggestions to consider…
- Make sure your kids know how to do the Think-Pair-Share discussion strategy before using the videos. If that sounds too complicated, just ask them to “Turn and talk to your neighbor.”
- Encourage students to submit their own questions to Mystery Doug by writing them on a sticky note and collecting them. You could have a Questions for Mystery Doug chart posted on the wall and students could write their questions there for everyone to see.
- Follow Mystery Doug on YouTube and Facebook for more information. He also has a Twitter account, but at the time of this post there weren’t any tweets just yet. Stay tuned!
- Use the free printable included with this post to have students write their fun facts they learned from watching the Mystery Doug video. Don’t want one more thing to copy? Just have your kiddos write their facts on a piece of paper or in their science notebooks.
- Check out the Mystery Science website if you need more in-depth science resources like I did. For now, those resources are also free, but that will change by June 2018.
Click on the link below to grab a printable you can use with your students where they write facts they learned from watching each week’s Mystery Doug video. Happy teaching!
- Fun Facts with Mystery Doug (free printable)