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Comparing Countries

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Subjects Arts & Humanities
  • Language Arts
Educational Technology

Mathematics
  • Arithmetic
  • Statistics
Social Studies
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Government
Grades
  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12
  • Advanced

Brief Description

A graphic organizer helps students compare and contrast two neighboring countries.

Objectives

Students will
  • use online or library resources to research information about two countries.
  • collect information and use it to complete a simple graphic organizer.
  • study the collected information for similarities and differences.
  • write statements or a brief essay comparing the two countries.

Keywords

graphic organizer, country, compare, contrast, natural resource, population, capital, flag, money, religion, agriculture, industry

Materials Needed[shopmaterials]

Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students use a simple graphic organizer to collect facts about two countries. They use that information to make comparisons between the two countries. The lesson is best used by students who have computer access, but it can be adapted to use library resources. If you have computer access, the activity can be used

  • in a computer lab setting with all students working on the activity at the same time.
  • in a classroom with limited computer access; have students sign up for a 30-minute block of time in which to complete the activity.
  • as whole-class activity, if your computer is equipped with projection capabilities.

Provide each student with a copy of the Comparing Countries work sheet. This graphic organizer is created for use in grades 2-5. If you are doing this activity with middle or high school students, you might want to create a different form that challenges students to read more comprehensive material; that form will probably include more fields for students to fill in.

Activity Resources
The activity is designed to be used with library resources (encyclopedias and almanacs, for example) and/or the following online resources:

  • Fact Monster Click World & News , then Countries. (Grades 2-3)
  • InfoPlease Click World , then Countries. (Grades 4-5)
  • The World Factbook Select a country name from the drop-down menu at the top of the page. (Grades 6-up)

Comparing and Contrasting
After students have collected the information and completed the graphic organizer, have them write a brief comparison of the new countries.

  • Your youngest students might write simple statements such as "Madagascar has more people than Zambia has.
  • Older students might provide a little more substance in their observations by writing a brief essay that includes such statements as "Madagascar has more than 5 million more people than Zambia has.
  • Your oldest students might write a coherent essay comparing and contrasting the two countries by the numbers.

Countries to Compare
Following are some possible pairs of countries that you could assign individuals or groups to compare:

  • Canada and Mexico (Americas neighbors)
  • Denmark and Finland
  • Costa Rica and the Ivory Coast (Cote dIvoire)
  • United States and Russia
  • Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Argentina and Brazil
  • England and Ireland
  • Germany and Austria
  • Japan and the United States
  • Thailand and Cambodia
  • Algeria and Libia
  • Norway and Sweden
  • Spain and France
  • Iran and Iraq
  • China and Russia
  • Egypt and Ethiopia
  • Ukraine and Romania
  • Chad and Sudan
  • Poland and the Czech Republic
  • South Africa and Zimbabwe
  • Vietnam and Cambodia
  • India and China
  • Belgium and the Netherlands
  • Hungary and Yugoslavia
  • Chile and Peru

Assessment

Once students have collected the information and completed the graphic organizer, have them write a brief comparison of the new countries. (See Comparing and Contrasting above.)

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

LANGUAGE ARTS: English

MATHEMATICS: Number and Operations
  • GRADES 3 - 5

  • NM-NUM.3-5.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
    NM-NUM.3-5.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
  • GRADES 6 - 8

  • NM-NUM.6-8.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
    NM-NUM.6-8.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
  • GRADES 9 - 12

  • NM-NUM.9-12.1 Understand Numbers, Ways of Representing Numbers, Relationships Among Numbers, and Number Systems
    NM-NUM.9-12.3 Compute Fluently and Make Reasonable Estimates
SOCIAL SCIENCES: Economics SOCIAL SCIENCES: Geography TECHNOLOGY

See more geography lesson plans and resources in Education Worlds Geography Center.

Click to return to Map Lessons: The Route to Improved Geography Skills.

Originally published 11/08/2002
Last updated 11/24/2008

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