Tricks to Remembering Countries & Capitals

The world contains almost 200 countries.

Remembering countries may seem like a difficult task, with some imagination, it can be fun. Memory tricks such as using pictures to relate information can be used at all grade levels. For example, because Italy is in the shape of a boot, every time students see boots, they will think about Italy. Students may also make up raps and melodies to remember the countries and their capitals.

1 Rote Memory

Learning through repetition is a type of rote memory. To learn the country and the capital, make flash cards. Place the country on one side and the capital on the other side. Group them together according to continent. On continents such as Europe, with more than 40 countries, divide the continent into areas or group them by letters. For example, Italy, Iceland, and Ireland are one group and Georgia, Germany and Greece are another group. After mastering one group, move to the next group.

2 Rhyme

Making up rhymes and songs is a creative way for the students to invent ways of remembering information. The students make up the rhyme to meet their specific needs.

After remembering the number of countries on a continent, make up a melody to remember the names of the countries. After mastering the countries, make a song to remember the capitals. "Cairo’s in Egypt and Yaoundé is in Cameroon, keep singing with me and we’ll be done soon" is an example rhyme that matches the countries in Africa with their capitals.

3 Association

Associating a country’s landmark with the capital helps students to remember the country and capital. Big Ben is a famous landmark in England. Big Ben is also located in London. London is the capital of England. Big Ben is associated with the capital of England.

4 Acrostic

Use acrostic as another method for remembering the countries and their capitals. Dividing the country into groups makes the learning process easier. For example using Yaoundé, Cameroon, Brazzaville, Congo and Cairo, Egypt, the acrostics are YCBCCE. Form a simple sentence using the letters. "Yellow chickens bite carrot cake easily" is a sample sentence.

Solace Powell began professionally writing in 1998. Her articles have appeared in "The Comet," "The Mace and Crown" and "The Courier." Powell received her Bachelor of Science in engineering from Old Dominion University.