Teach Diversity Using Oranges

Teach Diversity Using Oranges; Removing the Stumbling Block

One of the things that I am asked to do most often when training teachers or teens in ways to become more inclusive is to share specific activities that can be replicated in the classroom. I believe that some of the most important activities for those who want to be more inclusive involve teaching the difference between fairness and equality and teaching the value of diversity. Here is another simple activity to teach the value of diversity to students of any age.

Teach Diversity Using Oranges; Removing the Stumbling BlockTeach Diversity Using Oranges

1.     Give each student an orange.
2.     Direct each student to study their orange carefully by sight, touch, smell, etc.
3.     Put all of the oranges into a bag or a box and shake it up.
4.     Dump out all of the oranges into one contained space.
5.     Direct each person to find their orange. When everyone has found theirs, they return with it to their seats.
6.     Have students explain how they knew which orange was theirs.
7.     Make a point to highlight the unique features they identify, noting that each of us has them, too.

The conversation around this activity will be most rich when teachers use it as a jumping off point for students to share their own gifts and imperfections. There is also the potential for an interesting conversation around the last few to find their oranges and why this happened.

Finally, this activity could be easily extended by adding an art project, using it as an introduction to teach colors or foods in Hebrew, cooking something with the oranges (what a great way to connect this to an Israel lesson - Jaffa oranges!) and/or creating a classroom bulletin board.

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