Teacher Review for Mission US: For Crown or Colony?

A challenging and engaging game of colonial politics

Lynn S.
Dean of Student Life
The Montclair Kimberley Academy
Montclair, United States
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My Subjects Social Studies
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 Homework
Knowledge gain
Small group
Student-driven work
Great with Advanced learners
How I Use It
I rarely feel this way, but this game and accompanying classroom support activities are so expertly developed and pedagogically sound (alignment to national standards is included in the support materials) that I believe it would be best used "straight out of the box," if time allows. Teacher support materials include not only suggested classroom lesson plans and extension activities, but also planning guides for using the game, including high, medium and low levels of integration. In fact, the educators' guide is the best place to start to decide the most effective way to use the game in your classroom. And finally, the guide includes an extremely helpful (Why doesn't everyone do this?!) teachers' "cheat sheet" for game play.
My Take
This game is a great introduction to the tensions and difficulties of Patriot vs. Loyalist in pre-Revolutionary America. Students assume the character of a young apprentice who must learns the positions of both sides and must make choices about his own life going forward. Developed by PBS, it is richly detailed with facts of daily colonial life, and the politics of the time. The game nicely weaves in relevant vocabulary and primary documents. Extensive support materials give teachers the option to extend this 6-part interactive game into a fully developed unit of study. Crown or Colony is a rather long game (an estimated minimum of 60 minutes of playing time) and each part must be played in sequence, so teachers should plan to devote significant class time to playing, or assign it for homework. The richness and complexity of the game and supporting materials for the classroom, however, make it worth the investment.