Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
Since Mission US: Think Fast! About the Past focuses on a fairly limited set of specific questions, it's most useful as a hook or a way to activate prior knowledge before starting a unit on the colonies or slavery. Have students work together as a whole class or in small groups to complete the missions.Continue reading Show less
To play Mission US: Think Fast! About the Past, kids choose from one of two missions. Mission One introduces them to Royce, who lives in 1770, and Mission Two introduces them to Lucy, who lives in 1850. In Mission One, kids get to know Royce and his trademark sarcasm as he comments on how they answer question about Colonial America. In Mission Two, Lucy is notably silent and offers no commentary as kids answer basic true/false questions about the era of slavery. Both missions give kids a task and have them answer questions to successfully complete the task, advancing to different locations on a map until they reach their destination. As kids answer questions, they receive detailed text explanations of the correct answers.
In order for kids to answer all of the questions in Mission US: Think Fast! About the Past successfully, they must know a lot of information about Colonial America and the era of slavery. For example, one question asks about the amount of boning in women's clothing; another asks if Abraham Lincoln received any electoral votes from the South. Though many of the facts seem random, the explanations that follow provide kids with more information about the time period. For example, kids can learn that lower-class women wore dresses with less boning so they could complete more arduous tasks. Unfortunately, this information is still largely isolated and doesn't connect to the larger mission. Kids only get a general overview of the time periods covered in the missions, and they won't likely retain much unless they play the game multiple times.
Key Standards Supported
Reading History/Social Studies
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).
By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.