Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

How to Build Your Own Country

Wyatt, Valerie (Author)
Rix, Fred (Illustrator)
Kids Can Press 2009. 40 pages
First published: 2009
ISBN: 9781554533107 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Dewey: 320
Book type: Non-Fiction

Text Elements:

layout, multimodal, setting, structures and features

Award

The Forest of Reading – The Silver Birch Award (Non-Fiction) Winner – 2011

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Tired of people always telling you what to do? Create your own micro nation, even if it’s only the size of your bath mat! This playful guide to building a country from scratch teaches young readers about geography, government and global issues while incorporating interesting facts about real life events that have shaped our world.

Topics covered include national anthems, passports, law-making, elections, the courts, the constitution, the economy and diplomacy— all in kid-friendly language that is sure to inspire, entertain and inform young readers.

A good dose of wit and humour also softens its serious subject matter (e.g. Smallistan vs. Largistan and a national motto that reads “Free and Glorious Lint”). Bright, snappy cartoons break up the text into manageable chunks, while mini-quizzes, checkboxes and fill-in-the-blank exercises make it a truly interactive learning experience.

As one in a series of books that informs children about the world and inspires them to be better global citizens, it includes an index and a glossary with easy to understand definitions.

  •  

    Before reading, complete a graphic organizer in which you predict what topics will be explored. Use the Who, What, Why, When, Where and How format. As you read, confirm your predictions and modify your thinking.

  •  

    Conduct (and share) research about an existing country. What is its flag? Where does the name originate? On what is the economy built? What are the country’s values and beliefs? 

  •  

    Working with a partner, invent your own country. Write a fact file about this imaginary country, as modeled in the book.

  •  

    Discuss the different elements of the organization of a country (government, flag, holidays, laws, etc.). Write about them in a group graphic organizer.

  •  Choose an existing country and prepare an oral presentation outlining its organization and features.
  •  Create your own new country including its priorities, values, flag, money, national anthem, resources, etc. Organize a travel fair to introduce the class’s invented countries.
  •  List the glossary words (from the back) that you don’t understand. Look them up in a dictionary and add additional patriotic vocabulary.
  •  Inspired by the author, begin to build your own country by naming it and composing a national anthem. Fill in the blanks on page 14 (or modify the lyrics of another song). Use patriotic language (from above).
  •  Use teacher-recommended online resources to learn about the criteria used to rank world countries. Inspired by these, create a digital presentation to promote your invented country as the best place to live.
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To solve problems
  • To use creativity
  • To use information
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Geography, History and Citizenship
  • Social Sciences
  • Visual Arts