Search form

Comparing Countries


  • Arts & Humanities
  • Language Arts
  • Educational Technology
  • Mathematics
    • Arithmetic
    • Statistics
  • Social Studies
    • Economics
    • Geography
    • Government


  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12
  • Advanced

Brief Description

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


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.


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

Materials Needed

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.

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 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 (United States' neighbors)
  • Denmark and Finland
  • Costa Rica and the Ivory Coast (Cote d'Ivoire)
  • 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 Libya
  • 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


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

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins


Originally published 11/08/2002
Last updated 10/21/2016