Have you ever thought about how difficult it is to create a new nation? It’s an important skill for fiction writing to create realistic worlds, and it’s a useful geography lesson to think through because how a country is set up dictates some of the worldviews of the people living there. Last year as we studied Texas history we talked about how difficult it was for the newborn country to figure out just what they wanted their country to look like. The kids were all intrigued by the idea, and they all set about designing their own country.
Create your own nation supplies
Planning out your country
First I had the kids think through a few questions as the planned out their nations:
- What makes your country unique?
- What is the geography of your new nation?
- What is the idea behind your nation?
- What is the money system?
- How will your nation be governed?
- How do people travel in your nation?
When my kids did this they created two different countries. First, they created a very silly country, something like Marshmallow Fluffia, and then they picked out one of the city-states in the world Jeff and I built, Tir Na McCalla. Those had to be a bit more serious, but it was still a struggle for the kids to think through in any amount of detail.
They had about a week to work on this part, and each day they answered at least one question. As you can see there were 6 questions, so one day they had to answer more than one.
Preparing to present their new countries
This next part they had another week to work on it. For this, they had to create their visuals and how they were going to present it.
For their presentation they had to have:
- money, that’s where the model magic came into play
- a flag or crest
- a map of the country, either a flat paper map or a 3-D salt flour map
- a description of general life in the country (how do people earn money, what holidays do they celebrate?)
- how are they governed
This is all broken down quite a bit more in the printable, but this gives you a general idea.
It was quite amusing to see the city-states they came up with for their more serious countries. They were all built around a single commodity, and one of them I don’t think would realistically survive for long because they gained all of their food by stealing from their neighbors (I’m sorry Grammarly, I don’t believe you the word should be really instead of realistically)…
Not a good plan for long-term friendships.
Now their silly countries were hilarious. Princess created the Country of Puppylandia, which is an island shaped like a puppy. She created a 3-D map using salt flour dough. Her brothers made paper maps. They all had a blast making money.
I have to say, watching my kids present their countries taught me, we need to work on this more frequently because they did not keep on target, I’m thinking this might be a project for the month of November…… Work on presentation skills
Want to go beyond making a country?
And if you don’t see me much this month, this is why. I’m going to be chained to my sewing machine making Halloween costumes. I’ve got a request for Greymane, a tea fairy, and a cloak….. I’m gonna be busy. Also, I want to sew a few shirts for Princess and myself with some fabric I’ve got on my stash.