Teacher Review For Mission US: A Cheyenne Odyssey

Learning about the history and culture of the Cheyenne in a powerful interactive game.

Andrew W.
Technology coordinator
Erie 1 BOCES
West Seneca, NY
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies
My Rating 5
Learning Scores
Engagement 5
Pedagogy 5
Support 5
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Homework
Knowledge gain
Student-driven work
Teacher-led lessons
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
Special needs
How I Use It
This Game/Website would be a fantastic addition to a lesson on early Native American Cheyenne Culture and history. The "Missions" are quest based adventures where students work through a variety of challenges and problem solving activities. The students are engaged immediately and look forward to playing the game and completing the mission. As for what's in it for teachers, there is an unbelievable amount of resources and teacher guides that can easily make this an indepth unit of study. The resources are provided have top pedigree primary and secondary source documents, many of which come from the Library of Congress Collection. Additional, teacher guides and ideas are provided with a variety of reading and writing activities that are marvelous companions to the gaming system. What I enjoyed most of all about all the Mission games is the fact that they put in music and culture pieces that are often left out of many historical simulations and games. Music is such a rich and essential part to understanding historical context and time period. The mission does get to some pretty heavy themes for elementary level students however with the later missions dealing with Native Removal, and Custer's Last Stand. Played by students on their own, they may miss some deeper historical insights and find America's involvement to be viewed as pure colonialism. Teachers need to be prepared to answer some deeper critical thinking questions about US/ Indian Territory issues delicately. This may be a better fit for 7th or 8th graders who may be able to have deeper discussions and understandings.
My Take
Like the previous missions, Cheyenne Odyssey is an engaging and well developed gaming environment for late elementary to middle school students. It is well paced and designed for a 1-2 week unit of study on the "Indians" of the Plains. Since it is being told from the Cheyenne point of view teachers will have to have a firm understanding of some of the deeper seeded questions "Indian Relocation" and Buffalo Hunting/ population themes. The resources provided are top notch and I would find it hard pressed to find a better set of resources to go with this content. Teachers could benefit from these resources alone. I highly recommend all of these missions.