Teacher Review For Mission US: Flight to Freedom

Another great history simulation from Mission US.

David B.
School district administrator
Oakland Unified School District
Oakland, CA,
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts
My Rating 4
Learning Scores
Engagement 4
Pedagogy 4
Support 5
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time More than 15 minutes
Great for Further application
Individual
Knowledge gain
Small group
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
ELL
General
Low literacy
How I Use It

I used "Flight to Freedom" in February as part of African American History month with 4th and 5th graders. After each session, I would have a class discussion about their experience and review vocabulary words that came up during the game. These discussions were always interesting because students had slightly different experiences, based on the choices that they made.

This would be ideal to be done along with a unit on slavery in the United States, as there are plenty of support lesson and extension ideas on the website.

One technical tip: if the game runs slow on the internet, which it did in my case, you can download the game to individual computers. Students will still need to register for the first time on the website, but then can log-in to the game and play it directly from the computer. That is why I checked off "more than 15 minutes" for set up.

This is also true if you choose to pre-register each student. Another extension could be having students keep a diary/log of their adventure, describing their experiences and their reactions to them.

My Take

Like "For Crown or Colony," "Flight to Freedom" does a great job of placing students inside an historical time period. This time they are a slave growing up on a Kentucky plantation in 1848.

Along the way they are given tasks to perform, and choices to make, all of which affect the outcome of the game.

Students get a real sense of what it was like to be a slave, a runaway slave, and finally a freed slave in the North.

The runaway part is exceptionally well designed. Students have to keep their health and food supply up, get help from strangers, and avoid slave catchers.

There appears to be a random element to this part that allows them to succeed or get

recaptured and sent back to the plantation. This gives students the understanding that running away

was full of risks.

Once free, students find that their troubles aren't over, that being free had its own drawbacks, dangers and decisions.