This is a project I use as a culminating project with my students for the Grade 8 Alberta Social Studies Curriculum. Students create their own society including all these items (and more!):
-Government, politics, judicial system, leadership
-Economy, business, trade, currency, industry, goods and services
-Religious beliefs, spiritual life
Students are required to create a map, 3 original artifacts and a PowerPoint that outlines their presentation and information about their society.
Hands down, this is my students' favourite project in Social Studies 8! They get very excited about creating their own society! I hope you give this a try and modify it to meet your needs.
Graphics by The Hazel Owl @ http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Hazel-Owl