Group life skill sessions for
children age 9 - 11

Mr Rolling Orange

A few years ago I wrote a manual aimed at imparting life skills to 9 - 11 year olds while at the same time pointing out how our differences are actually our strengths. It's called “Mr Rolling Orange” and is all about Mr Orange rolling out of the orchard to discover the world. He’s confident, curious, and a bit arrogant. The first “human” he meets is Watermelon. Watermelon is the first “plus-sized” person Mr Orange has ever seen. He wastes no time to tell Watermelon that he’s fat. That makes Mr Orange rude, doesn’t it? Orange and Watermelon exchange a few heated words, come to an agreement, make their peace and start rolling together to explore the world.

There are 7 characters in the training manual and they represent the following typical personalities

  • self-confident
  • wise
  • family oriented
  • shopping/clothes/trends oriented
  • party animal
  • shy, depressed & withdrawn
  • differently-abled

I went to an international school in Sri Lanka for three weeks as a volunteer teacher and my life skills manual was used as the curriculum. The results were astounding.

The class consisted of six learners aged 10 and 11 and they were from Sri Lanka, England and Czechoslovakia. Even though three of them were Sri Lankan, they couldn’t have been more different. So, in one class, I had children from different cultures, languages, religious beliefs and backgrounds. They were so divided. They had nothing in common, had nothing to say to one another.

By the end of week one, they decided to create a play out of the first two chapters. The role of the main character, Mr Orange, was unanimously given to a child that had been sidelined until then. (A bit to my surprise I may add)

By the end of week two, they decided they want to create their own play. The role of “flash and bling” was given to the shy child who often didn’t do more than whisper. When she came out on stage and shouted at the top of her voice “I am Green Apple!!!!” I had to swallow hard to hold back the tears.

By the end of week three, they had many things in common and a lot to talk about. Mission completed.

Sessions: Either once a week over a period of 10 weeks, or once a day over a period of two weeks during school holidays
Duration: 90 minutes per session
Maximum amount of children per group is 6
Cost: R350 per session x 10 sessions = R3500 per child
A discount of 15% will be given if the full course amount is settled upfront.

Course material: The life-skills manual, paper and colouring pens on site and bottled water.

Venues and course dates: More details to follow soon