01. What is a country?

Lesson Title: What is a country?

Goal of the lesson:

1. Understand what makes a country.

2. Define the elements that makes the United States a country.

3. Make up your own country that you would like to live in (this is going to be a theme throughout the lessons).

Teaching the lesson:

Watch this YouTube videohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BA_bbooO6eA

Have the students brainstorm a list of things that makes a country a country.

Helps for teachers to guide with during the brainstorming: 

Definition of a country: A country is a defined political-geographic region that has independent legal autonomy (It can make and enforce its own laws).

Characteristics of a country: Countries often have: a flag, a national anthem, a language (sometimes), a history shared with the citizens, a shared set of values among the citizens, a shared culture, physical boundaries, one type of government that rules.

Interactive Task:

Have the students take their brainstorming list of “what makes a country” and define each characteristic for the United States of America. They can do this in a video, with pictures, in a collage, with words…however they want. Then have them present the conclusions to you (the teacher).


Have each student make up, and define, their own country based on the list of items they made in the lesson. They should be able to draw a map of their country (including mountains, rivers, oceans…), define what values their country will have, what the flag will look like, if there is a national anthem, or a language.

DO NOT have them define a form of government. That is going to be in the next lesson.

Additional tasks/ideas you can do with this lesson:

  1. What is a flag? This lesson can focus on what a flag stands for. You can have each student learn the history of the US flag, identify flags around the world, and then make their own flag.
  2. How are countries made? This lesson can focus on what it takes for a country to be recognized. The American Revolution, the treaties after WWII, the division of Africa by colonial powers, and the UN’s idea of a legally recognized country can all be studied. The students can decide which way they would want their country to be “made.”
  3. How do countries get dissolved? Over the course of history, many countries have been made, dissolved, and then come back again. Have the students focus on one of these cases (Poland is always a good example, or the collapse of East and West Germany).
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1 Comment

  1. Some of the Civics lessons are updated!!! | Wunderful Homeschool

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