Review by Mark Raby, Common Sense Education | Updated December 2013

Mission Migration

Fun mini-games help teach about bird ecosystems

Subjects & skills
  • Science

  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
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Pros: Fun and engaging game about birds coming from a trusted source of educational material.

Cons: Mini-games do not align perfectly with actual learning content.

Bottom Line: This official game of the National Audubon Society is a good tool for grade schoolers

This game is presented as a single-player game. Its application in the classroom would be most applicable in a computer lab or similar setting, where each student can play along on his or her own. Additionally, teachers could encourage kids to play through the game at home, and be prepared to discuss what they learned in class the next day.

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Kids are presented with information about birds, their migration patterns, and general details about their ecosystem, as they play through mini-games that are loosely connected to this material. For example, there is an arcade-style mini-game where kids have to avoid crashing into airplanes and other hazards, which is not exactly a realistic depiction of the typical bird migration practice. However, these mini-games keep kids engaged and focused, which helps when the game interrupts the mini-games to present factual content.

The educational material in this game comes directly from the National Audubon Society, so it can be trusted and used alongside any relevant curriculum. It is not built specifically as a classroom tool, but if kids play through the game on their own, they are likely to learn something about the complex ecosystem and migration patterns of birds. Unfortunately, most of this learning is placed on top of the gaming, instead of being baked into the gameplay.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

This game strikes a good balance between educational content and interactive gameplay. The use of fun mini-games in between the learning content helps with maintaining the engagement level.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

The gameplay mechanics and mini-games are loosely connected to the actual educational material in the game. These mini-games keep kids engaged and focused, which helps when the game interrupts the mini-games to present factual content.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

The game is presented with little in the way of tutorials or other guidance. However, kids can continue to play through each segment until they are able to complete it.

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Jennifer V. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Gallego Basic Elementary School
Tucson, United States
extremely informative game conveys key information about migratory birds
I like this game a great deal because it engages kids without sacrificing content for flashy animations. It's keeps the kids engaged (clicking, manipulating birds with arrows) without allowing the game play parts of the game to subsume the content. Again, if the students don't read the blurbs, much of the value will be lost, so you need to find some way to hold them accountable for this.
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