Connecting Past to Present: How an Interactive, Role-Playing Game like Mission US Encourages Students to Care about the Past
American history takes on new and personal meaning for students when they assume the roles of teens in our country’s most pivotal times, from the American Revolution to the turbulent early 1900’s, as we evolved further as a nation of immigrants. Using the free online resource Mission US as a case study, this webinar explored integrating interactive, role-based games into the American history curriculum in both middle and high school. There was special emphasis on using document-based questions, exploring primary sources, aligning with rigorous standards for reading, writing, and listening, and capturing the personal stories of the ordinary teens who lived through historical turning points. Our presenters explored: benefits and challenges of using role-playing games in education; Options for integrating games into your unit plans; strategies for whole class, small group, and individual player implementations; and selecting supplemental activities to strengthen literacy and social studies skills. Our presenters used sequences, resources, and other materials from the award-winning Mission US series of free interactive role-playing experiences, designed to immerse students, grades 5-12, in U.S. history. The newest mission, “City of Immigrants” which debuted in late February of 2015 will be highlighted. View the webinar to explore a new and highly engaging way to teach history. Mission US is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC in association with WNET. Funding for Mission US is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Additional funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Educational outreach support is provided by The Page & Otto Marx, Jr. Foundation and Atran Foundation.
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