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This is the create-a-country project which requires students — upper elementary, middle, or high school — to demonstrate fundamental geography skills.

I mention it is a scalable assignment. Simply, there are different versions of this two-part assignment here: an upper elementary school assignment, a middle school assignment, and a high school assignment. Of course, you can mix-and-match to fit the needs of your classes.

Both parts of this assignment require students to think critically to earn full credit. The first part of the assignment requires them to define their country’s unique characteristics. The second part is a map-making assignment in which they take the displayable characteristics from part one and illustrate them on a blank piece of paper. This can be a very powerful and engaging project!

I have used this assignment with success in a few ways. Sometimes, I use only the map-making part of the assignment to determine what my students already knew about map-reading skills. Another time, I used the definition assignment to reinforce an introductory unit on physical and cultural geography. I have also combined both parts of the assignment as a unit-ending project. I find this project asks students to think critically about the many characteristics that make up a country.

This packet contains the following:

•Two assignments-in-one: a definition assignment which requires detailed, thoughtful answers and a map-making assignment.

•There are three versions of the definition part of the assignment. These have been built to scale. Consider using the first version in an upper elementary classroom, the second version in a middle school classroom, and the third version in a high school classroom.

•Five lesson extension ideas.

•Two rubrics you may consider using to evaluate each part of the project.