Teacher Review for Mission US: For Crown or Colony?

Revolutionary War role-playing game with tons of included resources.

Alyssa M.
Technology coordinator
New Monmouth Elementary School
Middletown, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies
My Rating
Learning Scores
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Homework
Knowledge gain
Small group
Great with Advanced learners
How I Use It
I have used this with students in several different classes and have experimented with using it individually, small-group, and whole-group on the SmartBoard. The individual was good for students who could view the missions at home and come back to class prepared to have great in-class discussions. The whole group was great for discussion purposes, but not all students remained engaged and it was difficult to and follow along at times. Also, some students were disappointed when their choices for actions by Nate were not used. I found the small-groups/partner-sharing to work best. Students would discuss the options for what Nate should say and do. We would stop and have class discussions after each part. Our biggest problem was the saving of progress. A few times student progress wasn't saved. Also, we had the program freezes a bunch of times. Another issue is that you cannot save in the middle of the character having conversations. For the resources, I saved copies of all the documents and shared a Google Doc folder for the students to use. The resources are plentiful, so I picked the ones that aligned most closely with my curriculum. Sharing through Google Docs, and having students respond in Google Docs, allowed the students to collaborate on their assignments and saved a ton of paper. Awesome site... and free!
My Take
This is an awesome way to engage students in learning about the Revolutionary War. Students take on the persona of Nate, a colonist who goes to Boston to be a printer's apprentice. Through Nate, students experience the struggle between the Patriots and Loyalists. The students loved that they were able to make choices that effect what happened to Nate (think of a choose your own ending book). I found that students got more out of it when they had some background knowledge before going though a new part. My biggest complaint about the program is that progress did not always save and it froze way to often. Another con is that the website is Flash-based, so it was not readily usable on the iPad. Overall, students loved learning about history in a completely different way!