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Classroom Games: Relive History & Teach Government

Glenn Wiebe

ReliveWith the days of Oregon Trail far behind us, educational video games are not often viewed as a competitive force within the gaming world. Classroom games that were once so popular amongst students now appear to be dull when compared to the modern day virtual realities such as Halo and Madden. Unfortunately, trendy games such as these have little to no educational connection and are left out.

 This leaves educators struggling to find the perfect mix between educational video games and student enjoyment. What can teachers turn to that provides an educational advantage as well as an edge in the gaming world? 

 Mission US for Historical Gaming

Created by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Mission US is a multimedia project featuring free interactive adventure games set in different eras of U.S. history.

The first game, Mission 1: “For Crown or Colony?” puts the player in the shoes of Nat Wheeler, a 14-year-old printer’s apprentice in 1770 Boston. As Nat navigates the city and completes tasks, he encounters a spectrum of people living and working there when tensions mount before the Boston Massacre.  Ultimately, the player determines Nat’s fate by deciding where his loyalties lie.

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Mission US In the Classroom

Designed specifically for the educational market and aligned to national standards, the game has extensive teacher materials and resources. Students playing the game will walk away with a solid knowledge of the pre-Revolution period. And for the most part, the game does a good job of engaging kids in thinking and asking questions.

 There is also a Mission US Classroom Guide for teachers to reference.

 What educational classroom games do you use? Share in the comments section!

Republished from two separate blog posts with permission from the author, Glenn Wiebe.

Find more history tech tips on his blog.

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