For this geography design project, your students have set out on a trip around the world. Suddenly they have come across a new country that has never been put on a map or acknowledged before! Each explorer is given a special Earth Expedition booklet to record their findings from their voyage.
First students check out their map (included in the printable below). They mark off where the country lies. Is it in open ocean or land-locked? They name their country because they found it. Once they have a name for their new land, they come up with a distinct shape for their country. Then they decide on a capital name.
Afterwards students think about if they want their country to have a president or a king. Who will be in charge of their land? Before their new country is announced to the rest of the world, they must design a visual representation/symbol for their new land. Students design a special flag for their country, choosing colors and shapes that they feel will make the best visual representation for their land discovery.
Now it is time to put on their hiking boots and explore what the land has to offer! They check out terrestrial and aquatic biomes. In their Earth Expedition booklet they draw one biome and list two others that are within their country. Then they describe the climate of their land. Is it smoldering hot in some regions and icy cold in other parts of their country?
Next they take snapshots of the physical geography. They print out three landform photos to add to their booklet. Then they sketch two landforms.
While recording the physical geography, they notice the flora and fauna around them. It’s important for the students to list the major animals and plant life residing on their land. In their booklet, they snapshot two plants and two animals (print photographs). Then they draw one plant and one animal. Did they discover any new species to sketch?
After they have viewed the natural layout of their country, it’s time to decide on major attractions. Are there any currently on the country created by the land’s natives? If not, students decide what they would like to build on their land to drive tourists to their country. Is their country rural or urban? They design a city skyline, as well as three major attractions. Examples could be natural areas, such as a beach, or students could decide to build a theme park in their country. They add their designs to their Earth Expedition booklet.
Now that they have an idea of their country’s layout, students design currency for their country. They create a visual template of their currency in their booklet. Once they have decided on a design, they think about their land’s major natural resource and trade. What could they export from their country? What imports might their country need? How do the people in this country communicate? They decide on a national language and come up with a way to say “Hello,” in their land.
Then after they have discovered what resources their land is fruitful with, they come up with a national cuisine that their country will be known for. They also think about how people from their land will eat. Do they use silverware? Other things to ponder: Do they want to attract more people to live in their country? What is their country’s current population number? Students discover that it takes a lot to build a country!
Finally, the last part of their Earth Expedition recording booklet is to create an official map for their land with a key or legend, compass rose, landforms, bodies of water, nation’s capitol and borders with other countries. Once the students designs are complete, you can have a country celebration.
On TeachersPayTeachers, Kelli M. C. had a great idea for an addition to this project, posting: “We are going to add a gallery walk, have the students wear clothes that would be appropriate for their country and have students compare and contrast their country with another country.” Students can decide on what the natives of their country deem as fashionable. What should they wear based on their country’s climate?
Click here to download the free printable booklet to use for this project: Earth Expedition: Create a Country