Teaching Tools: Experience Black History Month, Virtually

SFC’s Stan Brimberg developed the curriculum behind Mission US: “Flight to Freedom,” the second in a series of innovative role-playing games developed to transform the way middle school students learn U.S. history.
Students, teachers, history buffs: prepare yourself for an immersive journey into the antebellum world of plantation slavery, complete with hushed abolitionist meetings, and night-time treks through forests thick with slave catchers, safe houses, and more.
In this educational video game, you enter the world of Lucy King, a slave who faces difficult choices in the harsh conditions leading up to the Civil War. Along the way, Lucy—you, the player—is not only given those choices to make, but the context that would realistically have influenced them in 1848 Kentucky. So when students play “Flight to Freedom,” not only do they build knowledge of the history of slavery and the abolitionist movement, but their understanding and critical perception of the history—and the people who made it—deepens.  
How so? We spoke with School for Children’s Stan Brimberg, who helped develop the game and its complementary curriculum, to find out more.
Changing perceptions, from developers to students 
The game begins on a large plantation in Kentucky. “When most kids learn about slavery, that’s what they learn about, picking crops in the hot sun,” says Brimberg. But slavery looked different in New York, different again in Maryland, and even plantation life in Virginia was different from what it was like in Louisiana, he explained. “So part of my work was to help teachers help kids look beyond plantation life, and also

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