Add Some Play

Great Digital Games to Use in the Classroom

Mission US

Content Area: Social Studies, English/Language Arts

Grades: 5-12

Website: http://www.mission-us.org/


Mission US has a series of games used to teach Social Studies content. The games have a rich story line, interesting characters, authentic settings and help develop content vocabulary.


Mission 1: For Crown or Colony (American Revolution/Boston Massacre)

Mission 2: Flight to Freedom (American Civil War/Underground Railroad)

Mission 3: A Cheyenne Odyssey (Westward Expansion/Native Americans)

Mission 4: City of Immigrants (Industrial Revolution/Women's Rights/Immigration)


When I introduced For Crown or Colony, I put the 5th grade students into groups and presented them with a "Top Secret" mission. To find out as much as they could about the Sons of Liberty. Who were these people? What was their mission? To find out, they would be working undercover as Nathaniel Wheeler, a 14 year old boy and placed on assignment as an apprentice to a well known newspaper editor in Boston. By providing students with this initial task, it gave them purpose to playing the first part of the game, to gather information relevant to the instructional unit on the American Revolution and kept them engaged. It is important to note that students will have different experiences when playing Mission US games due to the fact they can make decisions that will effect the story. This feature provides a great platform for discussion.

Lure of the Labyrinth

Content: Math/English Language Arts

Grades: 4-12 (Varies depending on games used)

Website: https://labyrinth.thinkport.org/www/index.php


Oh... It was a dark and story night...


Lure of the Labyrinth is a game where students journey on a quest to locate a missing pet and find themselves in a strange land with a mysterious bean loving girl with wings. She tells you there are other missing pets along with some pretty strange monsters. Students work through puzzles to earn beans and try to locate their pet before it is too late.


If you are wanting your students to experience math in the an authentic form of exploration- this game is a great tool to use! There are no directions to the game or puzzle, so students have to figure it out. As an educator, you can place students on teams and they can communicate with each other in a forum discussion.


If you don't want students to play through the entire game, you can simply have students work on puzzles. For example, prior to a unit on area and perimeter, students could play through the puzzles for the Garden. The object is to plant a specific number of plants in a given area (relationship between area and perimeter).


Math concepts addressed:

Algebraic expressions

Fractions

Ratios

Multiples

Slopes

Bases

Integers

Area/Perimeter

PBS Kids

Content: Math, Science, Reading, Social Studies

Grades: PreK-5

Website: http://pbskids.org/games/


This site contains lots of great games for educational purposes, featuring characters from programs on PBS! If you create an account on KY Encyclomedia for PBS/Learning Media, you can search games based on content to use in lessons.

iCivics

Content: Social Studies

Grades: 3-12

Website: http://www.icivics.org/


Think it is hard being president for a day? How about knowing if someone has a case that is supported by the Bill of Rights? How hard is it to make a law? Students can explore all of these scenarios in games from iCivics and many more! Teacher resources included on the site!

GameUp from BrainPop and BrainPop Jr.

Content: Math, Science, Reading, Language Arts, STEM, Health, Engineering and Tech

Grades: K-12

Website: BrainPop Jr. (K-3) https://jr.brainpop.com/games/

BrainPop (4-12) https://www.brainpop.com/games/


Lots of different games can be found on this site, a repository for some of the best games on the web that can be used for educational purposes!

AND... Here are some additional great sites to check out!

And... some additional places to find great games!