I LOVE teaching this project, and came up with it after living in Ghana and realizing, upon returning to the U.S., that Americans don't know much about Africa!
In this 2-week project, each student picks a country in Africa after we do background lessons about the continent. (See my store for background lessons.) To assign countries, have students rank their top 15 choices for homework, then go around the room assigning them, entering them in a Google spreadsheet to ensure no two students in a class have the same country.
Give students at least one full week to complete this project. making it your only classwork and homework. Circulate to help them as they work with online research and travel books checked out of the library. Periodically project exemplars onto the board for all students to see and discuss before getting back to work. Do mini-lessons where students practice time management by charting out what parts of the project to complete on which days, and share out at the end of each class to boast about progress and troubleshoot for productivity issues.
When projects are done, have two to three full classes where students pick a partner and teach the partner about their country using selected slides of their project (not all slides) while the partner takes notes. They then switch. This should take about 15 minutes. Students then stand up and find a new partner. Circulate to ensure everyone is on task. By the end of this, they should have had 5-7 partners, meaning they have now learned about several countries in Africa. You can then go on to the Africa Synthesis Essay (see other lesson in my store!).
I've found this project to be completely transformative for students. They feel a real sense of ownership of both the research project and their understanding of a very misunderstood continent.