Countries & Capitals Match-Ups

Countries & Capitals Match-Ups lesson plan

Quick, what’s the capital of Chile? Indonesia? Ghana? Create and play this game to remember countries, capitals, flags, and other facts.

  • 1.

    While studying world or national geography, invite students to focus on capital cities of countries, states, provinces, etc. Have students sketch a world map which includes all country borders. Students identify the approximate location of capital cities.

  • 2.

    To assist students with learning and recalling capitals, have them create a matching game. Collect recycled cardboard boxes. Each student team of two will select and decorate their boxes using Crayola® Tempera Paint, markers, crayons, and/or colored pencils.

  • 3.

    Using recycled manila file folders, student teams measure at least 36 cards, all the same size. Create a design for the cover side of each of the cards that represents your game. Use Crayola Colored Pencils or markers to create this design on each card.

  • 4.

    Using the countries and capitals that you are studying, write the name, outline a map, list the capital city, or write a fact about the country. Make at least two cards for each country. Make at least 18 sets of cards so you can challenge your skills.

  • 5.

    Play! Place all cards face down. Take turns trying to find a match. When you’ve mastered all of the information, exchange cards with your classmates. Create new cards with different countries and capitals, too.


  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Know and use various text features to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.
  • LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • LA: Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
  • MATH: Convert like measurement units within a given measurement system.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.


  • In small groups, students determine additional information to include on their cards, such as population data, geographical facts, customs, historical landmarks, famous leaders, or rivers.
  • This game can be adapted for any subject, such as learning a World Language, or math concepts.