Guess the Place

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  • A quick and simple yet fun game to practice place names (countries, capitals) and talking about the different characteristics and features of these places.


A classroom bell
  • A classroom bell (office bell / counter bell, see image at right)
  • A sheet of paper with a list of countries and capitals in both Hànzì and pīnyīn.
  • A pair of scissors or a paper cutter to slice this list into small slips with one place name each.
  • Selection of blocks, plastic coins, monopoly money, stickers or some other kind of token reward.


  • Shuffle the slips of paper face down so that they are in random order.
  • Students take turns taking a slip of paper but do not reveal what is written on it (teacher can demonstrate by being first to pick a slip).
  • Other students ask questions of the student whose turn it is to try and determine what place is on their paper.
  • Example questions:
    • 那个地方夏天很热吗?
    • 那个地方的人喜欢吃辣的吗?
    • 那个地方的官方语言之一是中文吗?
    • 那个地方有熊猫吗?
    • 那个地方在中国以南吗?
    • 那个地方比瑞士小吗?
  • When a student thinks they may have guessed the answer, they must ring the bell and state their guess. If they are correct, award them a block/coin/bill, and move to the next student to select a slip of paper. If they guess wrong, continue guessing until someone gets the answer (or alternatively, have wrong answers cost one block/coin etc each to make things more competitive).
  • Note: it may help to first practice countries and then capitals, or to focus on practicing place names from a region studied in the previous class (e.g. Africa, Asia) to keep the number of possibilities limited.