Creating Your Own Country project blends geography, writing, and art | Mentoring in the Middle

Creating Your Own Country project blends geography, writing, and art

"There is no military.  Because no one believes in war."

"Our most important law is do not go out after 11:00 because bad things start happening..."

In these Create Your Own Country histories, almost no one has a military.  The laws are typically no stealing, no lying, and no cheating.  You've got to love the optimistic spirit of 6th graders!

a map in the form of a dragon's head

Teach and Review Geography terms

Teach students the more commonly known landforms.  You can use your own graphic organizer or click here to get a free Geography Terms Toolkit that you can copy for your students.

Once students have learned about, drawn, and found real-world examples, have them create a country where all those will be found.

Create A Central Theme for their Country

Let students have fun coming up with ideas for their country names: pasta, cheese, Star Wars, Minecraft, baseball, basketball, candy, and cupcakes have all had countries based on them!  

Students name each of the landforms to fit the theme; for example, if their country theme is candy, the country name might be Sweetlandia and you might find Snickers Bay, Reese's Pieces Archipelago, and Whoppers Waterfall there.

Design A Map for their Country

Have students create a rough draft of their map BEFORE you give them poster paper.  Trust me on this!  They can get an idea of where to put each landform, and what shape their country will take.

Then, let them draw and color their final copy.

Write their Country's History

Use a graphic organizer to help your students write about the most important aspects of their country: general information, early history, geography, government, important people, education, and lifestyle.  From this, they should be able to write a 1 - 2 page history about how their country came to be.  While this is an informational piece, you may allow students to include some fantasy elements that pertain to their theme, like the dragon who created the country, or the video game win that led to a person assuming power.

Create Currency, A Flag, and other important elements

Students love creating money, complete with pictures of important leaders, or famous tourist sites.  Flags are popular and can include a lesson on important design elements.  Poets and writers might want to create a pledge to the flag or a national anthem.  

Want More Writing?

Are you working on Persuasive Writing?
Have your students create a brochure persuading readers to visit their country.

Narrative Writing?
Students can write a journal entry.

Opinion Writing?
Explain why the government in their country is a better fit than the current government.

The possibilities are endless!

Picture of a mountain behind a pond

The Create a Country project contains an interactive notebook for 20 landform vocabulary words in two formats, graphic organizers for writing: a country history, journal entry, national anthem, and pledge, as well as pages for creating money and a flag.  Teacher guides and answer keys are provided.

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