Have your students signed up for individual accounts? If you have a school-wide subscription to BrainPOP, students will be able to use our SnapThought ® tool to play Mission US: Up from the Dust.

The SnapThought tool allows students to capture meaningful moments in their game play with opportunities for brief written reflection. To use the tool, start by making sure students are logged into My BrainPOP with their own individual accounts. Once students are logged in, the SnapThought tool will appear below any games that offer this capability.

During game play, students can click the SnapThought tool up to five times. A thumbnail, or “snapshot” is generated and stored on the bottom left of the screen.  At any point in the game, students can click their snapshot(s), type a brief reflection, which may be a response to an open-ended prompt, and save or submit to the teacher’s account for you to review and respond to.

You can use the SnapThought tool to facilitate discussion around game play and strategies, or have students submit their snapshots to you for assessment or accountability. Here are a few ideas and prompts for using the SnapThought tool in the different parts of Mission US: Up from the Dust:


  • Prologue:  Describe the Dunn family farm and compare and contrast its appearance to the place where you live. Consider the environment, the technology, and the people in your answer. What is similar? What is different?
  • Part 1 – Boom to Bust:  This section describes how the stock market crash was a very significant event that partially caused the Great Depression. What events have happened during your life that may be significant to US History students a hundred years from now?
  • Part 2 – Neighbors in Need: Ginny must decide whether or not she will buy groceries on credit at the country store.  Did you choose to buy anything on credit? Why or why not? Why might purchasing on credit create difficulties for the Dunns in the future?
  • Part 3 – Riding the Rails: How did you react when the cow was killed? Did you agree or disagree with Mr. Dunn’s decision? Why? What would you have done if you were in Frank’s position?
  • Part 4 – A New Deal for Some: Mrs. Dunn uses the phrase “the devil makes work for idle hands.” What does this mean? Do you agree with the saying? Why or why not?
  • Part 5 – California or Dust:  What is the Resettlement Administration? How do farm owners feel about the agency?