Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: A Chorus of Faiths: A Program That Builds Interfaith Youth Leaders

Alternate Activity 1: Oranges and Oranges

Activity time: 15 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Oranges, one per participant, of roughly equal size
  • Clean basket or bowl
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Waste receptacle for orange peels
  • Optional: Material to line the basket, if needed

Preparation for Activity

  • Arrange unpeeled oranges in the basket.
  • Be alert to any food allergies in the group.
  • If the group has more than six participants, plan to form small groups for this activity.

Description of Activity

Youth explore human differences and sameness.

Ask participants to sit or stand together in a circle, with the basket of oranges in the middle of the circle. Ask participants to each grab an orange, and study it carefully. Ask them to "get to know their orange:" What shape is it? What marks does it have? Why?

After a few minutes of study, ask each participant to tell a story about their orange based on one of the features they have found. (Example: My orange got this dent on the top when it was traveling in a truck up from Florida with its brothers. It loves traveling and always tries to get to the top of the pile.) If participants have trouble creating stories, model by telling your story first. The stories can be as silly or as serious as participants want.

After the stories have been told, have everyone throw their orange back in to the basket. Mix the oranges. Then, ask participants to find their orange again, as fast as possible. After they've chosen an orange, ask how certain they are that it is their original orange. Most will know they have found it.

Offer hand sanitizer. Then, ask them to peel their oranges and immediately put the peeled oranges into the basket. Mix the oranges again. Ask participant to find their own orange again, as fast as possible. After they have chosen an orange, ask:

  • How certain are you that you have found your original orange?

Many will have had difficulty, and be uncertain. Tell participants they are now welcome to eat their orange if they wish. Lead a discussion with any or all of the following questions:

  • Why was it so hard to find your orange the second time?
  • How did you feel coming up with your orange story? Did it make you like your orange?
  • How is this similar to differences between people? How was it different?
  • If we only thought about the ways we are the same-"the pulp and the juice"-what would we lose in human relationships? How do our "peels"-our unique qualities and stories-matter?

Close the discussion by thanking participants. Wash and compost uneaten oranges.

Including All Participants

If any participant is allergic to oranges, you may be able to safely substitute lemons. If a participant is allergic to all citrus fruit, you can substitute bananas (although cleanliness of hands and basket will become even more important).