This is a handout for students who are researching a country profile for a Model United Nations conference or similar project. It can be adapted for your class depending on what nations you want students to represent, but it covers the basic topics such as social, political, economic, etc. that correspond to the CIA world factbook. It also includes a writing scaffold so students can turn their research into a basic description of who lives in the country, what is their quality of life, and the strengths and weaknesses of the nation. This is the first step for any project that involves a role play of nation states and students really enjoy exploring the world.
I generally assign 2 students per country and have them complete the research in teams.