A Note to Parents and Teachers

Developed for use by middle school students in the classroom and beyond, Mission US is a deeply-researched, award-winning educational media project with proven positive impact on history learning.

Mission US is part of an expanding 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.

The missions are not simulations, nor truly games in the sense that there is no “winning” or “losing,” nor do users get a score or grade. The games are sophisticated interactive narratives grounded in historical scholarship, developed in collaboration with community stakeholders and scholars who are experts in the historical periods that are depicted. We also conduct formative testing with diverse students, and involve educators who help ensure that the material is developmentally and academically appropriate for children in the target age group, grades 5-8.

In addition to serving a growing base of more than three million users in all fifty states, Mission US has garnered praise from educators, parents, students, and critics, and received endorsements from Common Sense Media, the Parents’ Choice Award, the Japan Prize for Educational Media, the International Serious Play Awards, and the Games for Change Award for “Most Significant Impact.” Research has shown that the series increases students’ history knowledge and skills, and is especially effective for reaching struggling learners who have difficulty learning from a textbook.

Before integrating a mission into the curriculum, we strongly encourage parents and educators to preview the entirety of that mission themselves, and make certain it is appropriate for their children/students and community. In the TEACH section of this website, we have provided a vast array of background information, activities, discussion starters, primary source documents, suggestions for further reading and research, and other resources to assist in contextualizing missions for students and helping them to understand the difficult choices and circumstances faced by Americans of different backgrounds.

To learn more about Mission US and our development process, visit the ABOUT section of this website and, as always, please feel free to reach out to the Mission US team at missionus@thirteen.org.