Country Cards: an Educational Game for the Classroom

Country Cards is an activity for students to learn seventh-grade geography. This activity will work for any number of students. All of the lessons are compatible with the Ontario grade seven curriculum. Country Cards helps motivate the student to learn about the conservation and extraction of natural resources. Kids are motivated because everything they learn can relate to them and their country. This is also a great activity because you can easily expand on it to other subjects like language, math and art. You could also modify this to suit other curricula.

Supplies:

  • Glue or Tape
  • Pencils
  • Scissors
  • Books or Computers for research
  • Printer

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Step 1: Lesson 1

Introduce to your students Country Cards as a game where you are the ruler of a new country, and it is their job to take care of it if they do well and follow instructions their country will earn points.

To start, print out as many card templates as you have students. Then print out the resource cards, each resource card sheet will have enough cards for 18 students. Everything is in .pdf and .docx formats in case you want to edit anything.

Each student should get one Country Card template, they can name their country anything they would like, if they are stuck try looking at a map of New Zealand or Turkey because they have some interesting names that they could use or modify. The population is calculated as a random number from 1,000 to 10,000. I used random.org. If a student can't decide on a language then just use English.

Now, you need to teach them about natural resources, especially how they are extracted sustainably (Section B). I won't tell you how to teach that because I know that different teachers have different ways of teaching.

After that is done you need to hand out the resource cards. Each student will get two random normal cards and one farm or city card (follow the instructions on the file included below). Tell them to glue them on to their paper. Tell your students to think about what kind of resources they could get from their cards and how they would extract them.

Tell each of your students to get five points, that means that they will get five ticks on the top of their card.

Congrats, the first lesson is complete, the hardest part is over.

Step 2: Lesson 2

Start by recapping what your students learned the last lesson. Then tell them to make a complete list of the resources they think their countries could produce and how they would produce them. Also, let them know that the more resources they get in a sustainable way, the more points they get.

NOTE: Cities can be used for manufacturing by using raw materials.

How to write the list:

Tell them to write down the resource that they could extract and then how they would extract it sustainably.

Scoring:

Points should be awarded based on how sustainably resources are extracted and creativity in general. Also, the number of different resources found should be considered.

Step 3: Lesson 3

Tell your students to draw a map on the back of their Country Card. It should be simple but it needs to have these things:

  • A capital (marked red)
  • Roads
  • At least two landmarks (Labelled)
  • Places where their resources will be extracted (Labelled)

Before you tell your students to start, give each of them a practice sheet of paper to plan/draft with.

Step 4: Expand

Now it is time for you to take this into your own hands. One of my favourite things about this is that you can expand this to other parts of geography and more subjects. I have a couple of ideas:

  • Geography (Section A): Ask your students to write about how their people have adapted to high (Or low) population densities etc.
  • Writing: Let your student write a short story about a day in the life of a person living in the students country
  • Math: Practice using large numbers in equations regarding the entire population of their country
  • Math: Calculating percentages on their population

If you have any ideas please post them in the comments. If you have done this in your class please let me know how it went.

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