Promoting interculturalism, tolerance and diversity in the learning process

Teaching techniques: 3. Orange Exercise

Learning Objectives:

To motivate the group to explore issues around stereotypes and prejudice;

To introduce participants to storytelling.


The necessary time will vary depending on the number of participants but is estimated between 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Necessary Materials:

  • Flipchart;
  • Oranges

Description of the activity:

  1. The participants sit in a semi-circle around the flipchart and the facilitator asks them to brainstorm the question “What is an orange like?”. As participants call out words to describe an orange the facilitator writes a list of them up on the flipchart (for example “round”, “orange”, etc.).
  2. Then the facilitator divides the participants into groups and asks each group to pick an orange from a pile on the floor (there should be more oranges than the number of groups involved).
  3. Each group has ten minutes to create a story about their orange. After ten minutes each group shares their story with the rest of the participants.
  4. The facilitator then takes back the oranges, places them together on the floor and mixes them up. One member from each group is asked to retrieve their orange. It usually happens that each group will have no problem identifying their own oranges, as the oranges are no longer generic specimens but individuals with characteristics.
  5. The participants then discuss what made each of their oranges unique, for example individual markings, names, personalities, stories, histories, etc. Then ask the participants to consider what they can learn from this activity in terms of how we view other human beings (e.g. do we tend to categorize rather than take on more meaningful ways in which we can know an individual?).