Photo by Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash

Two starving children; only one orange. What happens?

The Mémorial de Caen commemorates the WW2 Battle for Caen and, more generally, the fragility of 20th century peace. Displays, events and an education centre offer the ‘terrible story of the 20th century in a spirit of reconciliation’.

I visited a while back and collected a host of classroom ideas. The most significant came from a U.N. conflict resolution workshop. The scenario: two starving boys sitting either side of a table on which there rests one orange. The prompt: what happens next?

Fighting is the obvious answer. Only one boy can prevail, only one can survive, only one can eat the orange. But pause, look past the obvious, and creative options appear:

  • They share the orange
  • They give the orange to someone more needy
  • They sell the orange
  • They share the orange, plant the seeds, grow an orchard
  • They invite a third child to join them
  • They use the smell of the orange to assuage their hunger
  • and many more

Of all options war is just one. There are many ways to peace.

So I made ORANGE Thinking. Each letter stands for a creative option, a prompt to make something new, different, better, safer:

  • O – What can you omit?
  • R – What can you reduce?
  • A – What can you add?
  • N – What can you nudge?
  • G – What can you grow?
  • E – What can you edit?

It doesn’t guarantee a solution but it does ensure that the first response is not the only response, whether you are redesigning your curriculum or trying to resolve a conflict.