Creating a civilization

Looking for an easy project to do in civics that the kids will love? Create a civilization! After I teach all my required standards of levels of government, branches of government, and rights/responsibilities, we move on to our civilization project.

We start off with a read aloud: Westlandia by Paul Fleischman. It is a great book about a boy named Wes who creates his own civilization in his own backyard. Wes is tormented at school, so he dreams up in his world the way that he would want it. He has his own language, banking, sports, buildings... everything is how he wants it.

The students get two class periods to work on this in teams. We have a discussion beforehand about cooperation and compromise. I ask them what it means, and we model how a compromise works. Group projects can be so stinking difficult for my third-graders in the beginning of school, it's a new concept to them that they are not always used to.

The requirements for their civilization:
  • Draw a map
  • Civilization must have a name
  • Civilization must have a set of rules/laws
  • Civilization must have an official flag
Everything else is up to the students! Often the kids will make up their own sport for the civilization, or even their own language! I love this project in the beginning of school because you can see how students work together, and how much creativity they are. 

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