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

Mission Migration

Fun mini-games help teach about bird ecosystems

Subjects & skills
Skills
  • Critical Thinking

Subjects
  • Science
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
3-4
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (2 Reviews)

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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.

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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.

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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
David L. , Technology coordinator
Technology coordinator
Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw, GA
Great Way to Learn About Bird's

I think this would be a great product to teach about animals and bird with 3rd and 4th grade. It lets students live the life of a bird through migration patterns, it includes a total experience with landing and refueling,and it has different levels with different experiences

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