I use this project for my Nationalism unit. In the unit the students learn about the unification of Italy and Germany. As they create their country and write their nations history, they are instructed to follow the same basic historical foundation as either Italy or Germany. If your students don't learn the specifics of these two countries, it's okay! It can be edited and they can creatively write their nation's history however you'd like.
These are the directions to the project: "Nationalism is the cultural identity of a people. It is having pride in one’s own country that is based on shared customs and a common history. You’ll be working in groups to create a country based on a common history and customs. Your teacher will give you an interest to represent the common foundation you and your group members have. Design your country around this interest."
This project comes with project topics or interests (customs) that students must incorporate in to their country's design. Example interests include: video games, sports, music, etc. They have to design a flag, write a slogan, discuss their military, plan their economy (what they are producing to export), create two medals of honor, etc.
I allow my students to be creative and even witty when developing their country, they create a poster and present their country to the class.
This does not have to be a group project. It can be individual. You can do it in class or it can be done at home. It needs very little outside resources.