Based on Fantasy Football, the Fantasy History League was invented to be used as a one-day in-class project to get my kids excited about research.
We hold a "draft" (starts as alphabetical) where kids can select any country within the category (in this case, Africa) and it's theirs to research (no doubling up on countries). Using our classroom devices (we have Chrome Books), students use the entire class time in a "race" to accumulate as many points as they can by looking up categories and writing down the answers (along with the points acquired by finding those answers). Whoever has the most points at the end of the class period wins! in a way, everyone wins, because the kids all have good research and the project basically grades itself.
Hint 1: If entering this as a grade, use a "minimum" point value, like 25 points. Most kids should achieve this score, but all will research further since their ultimate goal is the most amount of points in the class.
Hint 2: Using the results is a great way to compare and contrast statistics. Depending on how you group students the next day, those constantly change. You can also download the Fantasy History League project sheets from other continents in the Eastern Hemisphere if you want each student to compare and contrast their own (multiple pieces of) work.