Assignment: Respond to a selection of student-defined “opposites” regarding the differences associated with living in Thailand versus living in Burma.
For this week’s assignment, I was interested in learning more about some of the differences my students associate with the two countries they live in/between.
To begin the assignment, we discussed what it means to live in two different places, and the sorts of aspects of life that change when you travel across a border. Then, I wrote “Thailand and “Burma” each on one half of the blackboard, then asked the children to call out different things that would go under each country.
Their list was as follows:
- Thai people
- Away from Home or Homesick
- Burmese people
- Stay at Home
We then created stacks of “opposite cards” which each had one of the pairs of opposites on each side of the card. So, for example, one card has war and a drawing of what war is like on the front, then a drawing of peace and what peace is like on the back.
Examples of the cards the children created are below. For full size images of the project, please visit my Flickr.
Thai People/Burmese People:
“This is Burma, and this is Thailand. Thailand is one country, Burma has many different states inside of it- that is why I drew the different colored lines.”
“Burmese people are on this side, because many Burmese people live in the jungle and carry things to the market to sell. Thailand and Thai people are on this side, because Thai people sometimes wear traditional dresses and live in beautiful homes.”
“This is war, and then this side is peace. The war side has a Burmese flag, and the peace side has a Thai flag because right now there is war in Burma and Thailand is peaceful.”
“This side is war in Burma because of the Burmese government. On the other side is a peaceful village.”
“On the front I drew an empty plate for bad, because it is always bad to have no food. On the back of the card, I drew a place with rice because that is a good thing.”
“On this side, I drew a person smoking because smoking is bad for you and will make you sick. On the other side, I drew a snack because the snack tastes very good.”
Away from Home or Homesick/Stay at Home:
“On this side, I drew two houses very far away from them. They are across a river, so people cannot visit each other. The other side only has one house because everyone lives together in one happy place.”
“On the front side, I drew someone sitting under a tree because that is what I would do if I were home. On the other side, I drew people separated because that is how it is when families have to live apart from each other.”