Students really get into this game of ordering countries based on their geographic size. "Australia is bigger than Japan." is the grammar used and students really get a good go using it in this game.

Unfortunately, this game does require a print out. I try to make everything here paperless and prep-free but this one is worth the printing (in my opinion). Two sheets of paper cover a group of 4 or 5. You can also ask the students to cut the cards out themselves too. With the whole group helping, it's done in a minute.

It's also not a quick activity. Being a card game that requires a proper explanation (and demonstration), it can take about 20 minutes or so of class time.

Basic Info

Time: 20 mins
Level: Junior High Grade 2
Works with: France is large than Japan.
Class size: Small to large.

You will need:

Note: This PDF includes one sheet of country cards and one answer sheet, which should be folded into a booklet. After playing, slip the cards inside the booklet and reuse in another class.


Playing this game, students will use the phrase: "Country1 is bigger/smaller than country2."

  1. Students make groups of 4 (5 is ok). One student is the "leader".
  2. Cards are stacked in the center. One card should be placed face up on desk as the starting card.
  3. The first student takes a card and states whether it's bigger than the first country and places it next to the first country card.
  4. The leader checks the Answer Sheet and either says "That's right." or restates the comparison correctly, allowing the player to correct the placement of their card.
  5. From now on, each successive player takes the next card from the pile and decides where it fits in the ordered line of cards which will continue to get bigger, in general making each successive placement a little more difficult.


  • Start by telling students we will play a game and talk about country size. Write "kmĀ²" on the board to help.
  • Explain this game by demonstrating it and kind of playing it as a class with the JTE as the leader. Start with Japan. Take China as the next card so students can help you state it as bigger than Japan. Take one more card (this time any card is fine) and show that they now have three options. At this point you'll see students' faces change from confusion to understanding as they realize they have to order the countries and each turn makes it more difficult.


  • Some students tend to take a long time with their turn, and engage others in speculation about the size of the country. Because this all happens in Japanese, it's wasted time (in terms of their English education). You could institute a 10 second rule if you think this will be a big issue for you.


The first time I tried this game, half of the groups ended up playing it simply by comparing two countries at a time, getting rid of them then repeating. This was probably because I hurried the explanation in order to get to the activity. However, once I started showing what happens with the third card, everything started working a little more smoothly.

This game works well as part of Sunshine 2 Program 9 Section 1. I've also done in with 3rd graders as review (because I've heard a lot of their big test is 2nd grade grammar).

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