Developed for use in middle and high school classrooms, Mission US engages students in the study of transformational moments in American history. Each mission consists of an interactive game and a set of curriculum materials that are aligned to national standards and feature document-based activities. The game immerses players in rich, historical settings and then empowers them to make choices that illuminate how ordinary people experienced the past. The Educator's Guide provides a wealth of resources and activities for both teachers and students, including primary source documents that show the broader social, political and economic context of events and perspectives featured in the game.

The goals of Mission US are to help students:

  • Learn how Americans struggled to realize the ideals of liberty and equality.
  • Understand the role of ordinary men and women, including young people, in history.
  • Develop historical empathy.
  • Build understanding and critical perception to think like an historian.

Serious Gaming

Mission US is part of a growing body of "serious games" that immerse users in historical and contemporary problems in ways that encourage perspective-taking, discussion and weighing of multiple kinds of evidence. Research has shown that, by assuming the roles of peers from the past, students develop a more personal, memorable and meaningful connection with complex historical content and context. 

Missions

  • “For Crown or Colony?” puts players in the shoes of Nat Wheeler, a printer’s apprentice in 1770 Boston. They encounter both Patriots and Loyalists, and when rising tensions result in the Boston Massacre, they must choose where their loyalties lie.
  • In “Flight to Freedom,” players take on the role of Lucy, a 14-year-old enslaved in Kentucky. As they navigate her escape and journey to Ohio, they discover that life in the “free” North is dangerous and difficult. In 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act threatens all African Americans in the North and brings new urgency to the anti-slavery movement.
  • In “A Cheyenne Odyssey,” players become Little Fox, a Northern Cheyenne boy whose life is changed by the encroachment of white settlers, railroads and U.S. military expeditions. As buffalo diminish and the U.S. expands westward, players experience the Cheyenne's persistence through conflict and national transformation.
  • In “City of Immigrants,” players navigate New York’s Lower East Side as Lena, a young Jewish immigrant from Russia. Trying to save money to bring her parents to America, she works long hours in a factory for little money and gets caught up in the growing labor movement. 
  • In “Up from the Dust,” players take on the roles of twins Frank and Ginny Dunn, whose family wheat farm is devastated by the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. As they experience the hardships of the 1930s, players learn about Americans’ strategies for survival – as individuals, communities and a nation. “Up from the Dust” is available online and for the iPad.

Visit Mission US online to find out more.