Theme unit-Where is Taiwan?

I was meant to categorize this under "tried and proved works" but somehow I know there are a lot of personal perspectives involved. I’m currently covering the last topic of this semester. It is about international cultures. The language is simple: "Where are you from?". I made a powerpoint to present the language material and start the class with a map of Asia. I searched for a few portraits that represent different cultures and embed a little quiz in my presentation.
I showed them portraits from a Japanese lady with traditional wedding gown, kimono styled, to a smiling Afghanistan boy with a story. Kids seemed very much intrigued by the theme and comments like" ah, Taiwan is sooooo small!" is everywhere in the classroom.
At the end of the class, a kid pop out a question "老師,為什麼台灣這麼小還要獨立啊?"

Now I must say that I don’t talk politics in my class. I don’t have the time nor the right cause to talk about it. The boy’s question, however, reflect the very core of the chaos in this country: Why there needs to be a reason to be independent? Why do we have to ask anyone’s permission to be independent? And what size got to do with the will and the fact of being independent?

It’s a pity I couldn’t talk more in my English class. I wonder if they have any similar critical thinking task in their social study class,too. However, forging the identification to where you belong has long been a missing piece in the education system here. It is sad that claiming yourself as a Taiwanese has become an act of labeling yourself. Discussing/discovering your identity has become a political incorrect conduct in the campus. No other normal country would do this to its own people.

A great teaser for theme unit about international cultures/countries: Yakko’s world, The one with flags

Many thanks to Flickr Leech for great pictures.

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