Compasito - Manual on Human Rights Education for Children
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30. The Battle for the Orange

Can this be a win-win situation?

Themes Peace

Level of complexity Level 1

Age 8 – 13 years

Duration 30 minutes

Group size 4 – 24 children

Type of activity Group competition and discussion

Overview Children compete for possession of an orange and discuss how to resolve conflicts.

Objectives • To discuss the need for communication in conflict situations
• To reflect on strategies for conflict resolution

Preparation • None

Materials • One orange


  1. Explain that the group is going to play ‘the Orange Game’. Divide the children into two groups. Ask Group A to go outside and wait for you. Tell Group B that in this activity their goal is to get the orange because they need its juice to make orange juice.
  2. Go outside and tell Group A that their goal in this activity is to get the orange because they need the peel of the orange to make an orange cake.
  3. Bring both groups together inside and ask each group to sit in a line facing each other.
  4. Tell the groups that they have three minutes to get what they need. Emphasise that they should not use violence to get what they want. Then place one orange between the two groups and say, “Go”.
  5. Usually someone will take the orange and one group will have it and how the groups deal with the situation will be a surprise. Sometimes groups will try to negotiate to divide the orange in half. At other times they will not negotiate at all. Sometimes the groups will communicate further and realize that they both need different parts of the orange; someone from one of the groups will peel the orange, taking the part they need. Do not interfere.

  6. After three minute say, “Stop” or “Time’s up”.

Debriefing and evaluation

  1. Debrief the activity by asking question such as these:
    • Did your group get what it wanted before the three minutes were up?
    • What was your group’s goal?
    • What was the outcome of the conflict over the orange?
    • What did you do to achieve this outcome?
    • Why is it important for people to communicate in order to resolve conflicts?
    • Do people always communicate with each other when they are in a conflict? Why or why not?
    • Do people always want the same thing in a conflict?
    • Have you ever experienced similar situations? What was the outcome?
  2. Relate the activity to human rights by asking a question such as this:
    • What are some of the human rights that are violated in a conflict?

Suggestions for follow-up

  • The activity ‘Picturing Ways Out of Violence’, p. 133, also deals with resolving conflict.
  • Several activities also require negotiation: ‘Capture the Castle’, p. 89; ‘Cookie Monster’, p. 95; ‘The Invisibles are Coming’, p. 171.

Ideas for action

Develop ideas about how to deal with conflict within the group. List these ideas on a chart and hang it somewhere in the room.

Tips for the facilitator

  • After the three minutes, take the orange, or what is left of it, to avoid distraction during the debriefing.
  • During the conflict, you should not try and influence the results but be careful to emphasise to the children that there should be no violence in order to get what they want.
  • Adaptation for larger groups: Create four groups instead of two groups and have two ‘Orange battles’ taking place at the same time. Simply make 2 Group As, and 2 Group Bs and give the same instructions as indicated above. Have 1 Group A sit opposite 1 Group B, and the second Group A sit opposite the second Group B; place one orange between each set of groups. Start and stop the activity at the same time. It may be interesting to discuss the different processes and results in each ‘Battle’.