Teacher Review for Mission US: For Crown or Colony?

Take viewpoints of Patriots and Loyalists; dated graphics a minus

David B.
School district administrator
Oakland Unified School District
Oakland, CA, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It No
My Students Learned No
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time 5-15 minutes
Great for Further application
Knowledge gain
Whole class
Great with Advanced learners
Low literacy
How I Use It

I would use this game simultaneously with a

unit on the American Revolution, which in California comes in 5th grade. Students used to virtual reality action games, will find the graphics and limited choices to be old-fashioned and slow.

But there is enough visual and narrative content here to keep them engaged, while exposing them to important vocabulary and an historical context that will help them access their textbook. More importantly, it gives them a personal connection to the viewpoints of both Patriots and Loyalists. This makes what they study more exciting, and allows them to form their own opinions, based on the facts they have learned. To get the most out of the game, I would do some of the recommended activities, have students keep a journal log where they could record what they did, new concepts learned, and opportunity for reflections. I would also plan discussions (whole class and partner) after each activity, and make a chart in my room for the key vocabulary words learned throughout the game.

Tip: I would give time for students to play the game more than once, in order to see how the different choices are

My Take

For Crown Or

Colony places students in the middle of historical events that led to the American Revolution. The game, based on solid historical research and thinking,

transports students to Boston in the year 1770. As a young apprentice to a printer, students play the game through the eyes of Nat Wheeler. Negotiating their way among

the streets, citizenry,

and politics of Colonial Boston, students meet different characters who have different views about British rule. While making

decisions that affect the game's outcome, they pick up important content vocabulary words, and get a first-person feel for the historical conflicts that boil over into the Boston Massacre. The game designers have done an excellent job of allowing the students to make their own choices, while guiding them through a carefully selected set of experiences that will leave them with a greater understanding of this historical period. The game can be played on the internet, which allows students to play the game outside of school hours, but can be downloaded if the connection is not fast enough.

The website provides an overview of the game, a cheat-sheet for teachers, historical background documents for teachers and students,

a set of lessons and primary

resources to extend and complement game play.