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Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Latest Mission U.S. Game Teaches Students About Immigration

Thanks to Glenn Wiebe, earlier this week I learned that one of my favorite U.S. History games has added a new component. Just about one year after Mission U.S. added A Cheyenne Odyssey they have added City of Immigrants. City of Immigrants is the fourth game in the Mission U.S. series.

City of Immigrants is set in New York City in 1907. Players take on the role of a fourteen year-old Jewish immigrant named Lena Brodsky. Lena is from Russia and she arrived in New York after her older brother who came to New York a few years earlier and sent money home to buy passage for family members. Lena is now trying to earn money to send home so that her parents can come to New York. Throughout the game you meet other people in Lena's life in New York who are faced with tough choices just like she is.

Applications for Education
City of Immigrants could be a great game for middle school students and some high school students to play to learn about the challenges that faced immigrants to New York in the early 1900's. What I really like about the game is that players meet the various people involved in Lena's life. Meeting those people could help students understand the community dynamics common to immigrant neighborhoods at the time.

The Mission U.S. games are available to use in your web browser. Some of the games will work on iPads and Android tablets. The Mission U.S. website offers an educators section that includes printable lists of vocabulary terms, writing prompts, and post-game discussion prompts.