Theme: Global Citizenship/Civics/Geography/Statistics (ages 8-12)
Who doesn't want to create their own country? (Mine is called "LaurLaurLand.") How to Build Your Own Country by Valerie Wyatt delivers step-by-step instructions for doing just that. Some of the activities include "Designing a flag and choosing a motto" and a convenient "Fill-in-the-Blanks National Anthem." It would be ideal for classroom use, but the activities can be simplified for a library setting and time constraints. The activities challenge children to use their imagination, but also guide them through nation-building exercises that shed some light on what it takes to run a government and a country. I'm counting on the imaginations of the children to design a functional Utopia!
Name Your Country
Design a Flag, Motto, Currency, and Passport
Fill-in-the-Blanks National Anthem
Joined by other titles from the Citizen Kid series: If the World Were a Village and If America Were a Village by David J. Smith (which boil down statistics about population to a village containing 100 villagers: "The village of 100 is a powerful and accessible tool to use with children. Instead of huge numbers, 100 is a manageable number that can be easily comprehended."), not only will kids get the experience of creating their own nation, they will gain some perspective of the composition of both America and the world community. In the back of the books the author, David J. Smith, makes some suggestions for further activities for children. From economics to empathy, these three books are sure to inspire you to explore the possibilities, either in your imagination or an atlas.
Activity: Make 100 paper dolls and then label them according to the statistics in the book!